Over the last years, early identification and support for autistics has been deemed a priority since scientific evidence indicates that timely identification and access to appropriate supports can assist with child development and have a positive effect on individual, family, and society levels. Many autistics of all ages have reported that finding out they were autistic provided validation, access to tools, and a sense of community that they did not have previously.  Despite the importance of talking about autism, broaching this topic with parents in the play therapy room can be challenging for many reasons.

This training will review the first-hand experience of a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor's journey from being an autism professional to becoming an autism parent, and the lessons she learned as she better understood both sides.  Through the lens of humanistic and prescriptive play therapy, this training will discuss the prevalence of autism and the research on early identification. This training will explore how to address the stigma associated with the autistic label and the crucial role that a play therapist has in autism identification and parent support.


  • Through PowerPoint and storytelling, the presenter will explain 2-3 reasons why early autism identification and support has shown to have positive effects on individual, family, and societal levels.

  • Following PowerPoint lecture, attendees will identify 2-3 tools they can use in the play therapy room to begin to explore and assess autism with their clientele.

Instructor Katie Bassiri, LPC, RPT-S

Katie Bassiri is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S). She owns and operates a mental health agency called The Treehouse, in Albuquerque, New Mexico which works to provide multidisciplinary support to neurodivergent individuals and their families. Katie provides supervision for counselors and is an interdisciplinary supervisor for Social Workers for the state of New Mexico. Her greatest passion is to provide trainings and supervision to professionals and businesses to better support autistic people in therapeutic, work and school environments. She is also an advocate for play across the lifespan. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on the topics of play therapy, autism, neurodiversity, and trauma. Katie's professional work is heavily influenced by her experiences working in residential treatment and home-based therapy with non-speaking autistic children who have trauma histories. Most importantly, Katie is a mom to three autistic children who have made a strong impact on who she is and how she supports families. She co-authored the children's book, "Congratulations You're Autistic" with her husband, Alex, to provide a more positive and affirming message for caregivers to talk about autism with their children. When she is not playing at The Treehouse, you will find her swimming and adventuring with her autistic family and their dog Lucky Jack.

Course curriculum

    1. Welcome to the Course

    1. Course PowerPoint

    2. Module 1 Updated

    3. Module 2 Updated

    4. Module 3 Updated

    5. Module 4

    6. Welcome-to-Holland

    7. M-CHAT-R_F_1

    1. Evaluation (Required)

    2. Quiz (Required)

About this course

  • Free
  • 10 lessons
  • 2 hours of video content

This course is offered free of charge