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Connie Kasari

The Development of Play in Children with Autism

Presented By:
Connie Kasari, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development and Psychology, Center for Autism Research and Treatment, Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior
November 29, 2022

Dr. Connie Kasari is a professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a leading international expert in developing interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Her research focuses on targeted interventions for early social communication development in at-risk infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with autism, and peer relationships for school-aged children with autism, leading to the recognition of her therapy JASPER as an established evidence-based ASD treatment. Dr. Kasari is also the author of The JASPER Model for Children with Autism: Promoting Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation.

Play is important in the development of all children, including young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Yet play can be challenging for young children with ASD. Teaching play skills in young children with ASD supports engagement with peers and the development of friendships. Further, play can be the context for teaching many skills including communication, language, and problem-solving skills. This webcast will discuss the development of play, specific challenges that young children with ASD face, and interventions that target play skill
development and peer engagement.