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Child Learning in Play System

Once you have assessed the problem using the PIECES, the Child Learning in Play System (CLIPS) provides different intervention strategies for play skills.

To determine an appropriate intervention, you must ask whether the child exhibits a play skills deficit, a social skills deficit or both. To answer this question, you may need to assess social skills above and beyond what is done in the PIECES by using another measure, such as the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS). If play skills are adequate and social skills are not, conduct a social skills intervention in the context of play (e.g., Skillstreaming). If play skills are inadequate and social skills are adequate, teach play skills. If play skills and social skills are inadequate, start by teaching play skills and then incorporate a socials skills intervention.


Play interventions can be designed for an individual child or a group of children. Intervention techniques include teaching new skills (e.g., modeling, add-ons) and increasing emerging skills (e.g., verbal prompts, play partners). Descriptive verbal praise, encouragement and reinforcement (providing highly preferred activities or items for engaging in the target behavior) are vital parts of the intervention process.


The CLIPS intervention strategies can be downloaded below, for free.

Intervention Strategies

General Strategies

  • Encourage play

  • Reinforce play

  • Involve play partners

Specific Strategies

  • Modelling

  • Prompting

  • Story telling

  • Previewing and reviewing

  • Substitution: Providing non-toy items

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