Level 3: Socialization

Integrating Play and Friendship

This phase maximizes a child’s intrinsic desire to play, socialize and form meaningful relationships with peers. This phase is initiated when:

  • the child has learned advanced imitation skills
  • is able to reference others
  • can follow receptive instructions
  • is able to verbalize his/her wants and needs


During this phase we continue to build on programs in level 2, while scheduling facilitated play dates to teach the child how to play with his/her peers.


These play dates are with siblings, classmates, or peers from the neighborhood and are designed to teach your child to:

  • reference their peers
  • take direction from peers
  • respond to peers
  • initiate with peers
  • appropriately converse with peers
  • play games that peers prefer
  • stay engaged with peers


These are important foundational skills needed to build friendships. At the same time, therapists work with the peers to be more accepting, responsive and inclusive of children who relate and play in different ways.

We recommend 10-20 hours a week of therapy during the Socialization phase.

Breakthrough Interventions collaborates with Connect Us to assist with the socialization of children with ASD.

Connect Us is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help preschool and elementary-age children build self-confidence, cultivate positive relationships and thrive socially. Connect Us uses the Social Competence Inclusive Play (SCIP) Model developed by Dr. Nunez. For more information about programs, services, and their model please go to: www.connectusnow.org.


Explore the BI Approach Phases Below

Level 1: Learning to Learn | Level 2: Generalization | Level 3: Socialization | Level 4: Transition | Level 5: Independence