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Digital Recording

Affirming Play Therapy Approaches - The Agent of Change for Neurodivergent Kids

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Robert Jason Grant, EdD, LPC, NCC, RPT-S
1 Hour 31 Minutes
Audio and Video
May 13, 2022
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Digital Recording
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Neurodivergent children (autistic, ADHD, learning differences, sensory differences) represent a unique and large part of the population of children that participate in therapy, yet their needs are often misunderstood and neglected, not reaching their needed therapy goals.

Dr. Robert Jason Grant, creator of AutPlay Therapy, will share his 20+ years of experience in the field to explain the concepts of neurodiversity, ableism, neurodivergence, and how to be neurodiversity affirming. Many therapists often unintentionally implement interventions and techniques which can be harmful for neurodivergent children. Dr. Grant will share how to provide affirming approaches which give the child a voice, value the self of the child, empower the child, use play preferences as the agent of change, and address therapy needs and goals.

Your ability to recognize affirming vs. harmful interventions highlights the difference between effective vs. problematic play therapy work with neurodivergent children. This recorded session will provide you with the application of affirming play therapy processes to help neurodivergent clients grow and heal in their mental health goals while empowering the therapist to feel confident in their service to this most vulnerable population.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 1.75 hours CPD.



Robert Jason Grant, EdD, LPC, NCC, RPT-S's Profile

Robert Jason Grant, EdD, LPC, NCC, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Robert Jason Grant, EdD, LPC, NCC, RPT-S, is a licensed professional counselor, national certified counselor, registered play therapist supervisor, and certified autism specialist. He owns and operates the AutPlay Therapy mental health clinic and specializes in working with children, adolescents, families, and adults primarily serving neurodivergent individuals (autism, ADHD, sensory differences, learning disorders, and developmental disabilities). Dr. Grant is the creator of AutPlay® Therapy, an integrative family play therapy framework designed to help address the mental health needs of neurodivergent children and adolescents. He is also trauma informed and trained and utilizes EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

Dr. Grant is a supervisor, consultant, and life coach and utilizes several years of advanced training and his own lived Neurodivergent experience to provide affirming services to children and their families. He has infused his experience and love for education and mental health care to create training programs for professionals and care fivers. He is an international trainer and keynote presenter having presented for the American Counseling Association for Play Therapy, American Mental Health Counselors Association, and The World Autism Congress. Dr. Grant is also a multi-published author of several articles, book chapters, and books.

In 2015, he was awarded Play Therapist of the Year by the Missouri Association for Play Therapy. In 2017, he was presented with the APT Service Award by the National Association for Play Therapy. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Association for Play Therapy and is a board member for the Digital Play Therapy Program. He is also a part time instructor in the Play Therapy Certificate program at Mid America Nazarene University (MNU).  



Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Robert Grant is the owner of AutPlay Therapy Clinic. He receives royalties as a published author. Robert Grant receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Robert Grant is a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Mental Health Counselors, the Association American Counseling, the Association of Missouri American Mental Health Counselors, and the Association of Missouri Association for Play Therapy.


  1. Analyze the concepts of neurodiversity, neurodivergence, and neurodiversity affirming application regarding practical use in play therapy sessions.
  2. Support how play therapy theories and approaches can be implemented to be neurodiversity affirming and address clinical outcomes.
  3. Demonstrate at least 5 play therapy interventions that would exemplify neurodiversity affirming principles.


  • Neurodiversity
    • A paradigm and movement
    • Variations and differences in neurotypes
    • The neurodivergent client
  • Neurodiversity Affirming
    • Ableist vs affirming play therapist
    • Affirming play therapy theories and play techniques
    • Strength-based approaches
  • Affirming Play Therapy
    • Needs, healing, and growth outcomes
    • Doing no harm

Target Audience

  • Counsellors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Mental Health Clinicians
  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • School Counsellors
  • Social Workers


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