A play therapy approach designed to support the mental health needs of
neurodivergent children, and their families.
Developed by Dr. Robert Jason Grant, AutPlay Therapy is an integrative family play therapy approach. It combines the therapeutic powers of play with other counselling models and relationship development approaches, to assist children and adolescents in mental health gains. Parents and children are are encouraged to work together in this therapeutic process, in partnership with the therapist.
Who is AutPlay Therapy for?
AutPlay Therapy is a neurodiversity affirming therapeutic approach, specifically developed to support neurodivergent children and adolescents.
The AutPlay therapy process aims to highlight the child's strengths and encourages them to work collaboratively with the therapist to address their mental health needs, which may include
Emotional regulation struggles
Social navigation needs
Anxiety and fear reduction
Depression and self-esteem issues
Parent/child relationship difficulties
What is neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity is the term used to describe the great variety and diversity of human brains and minds. In the same way that humans have a diversity of types of physiology, physical features and genetic charasteristics, neurodiversity is the term for describing the "infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species" (Dr Nick Walker).
What does neurodivergent mean?
Neurodivergent means "having a mind that functions in ways which diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.” (Dr Nick Walker). It is a very broad term and includes such conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Tourette's Syndrome, Epilepsy and many more. Some forms of neurodivergence are innate and are an intrinsic part of who a person is (such as Autism), while other forms of neurodivergence are acquired (such as a traumatic brain injury). Some people are multiply neurodivergent (such as being Autistic and epileptic).
I am a neurodiversity affirming therapist. This means that I recognise that there are a range of neurotypes in the world, which may differ in a variety of ways from the dominant standards of 'normal'. I accept these differences and do not pathologise innate forms of neurodivergence or seek to change or make neurodivergent children appear more 'normal'.