Friend 2 Friend – Integrated Play Groups Program (School Based)

Friend 2 Friend Master Guides visit schools and other community settings to design, set up and implement a Friend 2 Friend – Integrated Play Groups Program for one child with autism or related needs (novice player) and 3-4 peers (expert players) ages 9 through 16. As part of the program the Master Guide will also prepare and supervise one school-based professional so that they may continue to run the play group sessions once Friend 2 Friend has completed this 18 week (14 session) program.

It is a profound privilege to partner with Heather McCracken and her fabulous team in delivering state-of-the-art programs that bring children together in the true spirit of play and friendship.” Pamela Wolfberg, Ph.D.

Integrated Play Groups Research,  Integrated Play Groups Publications

School Based IPG Program Registration Information (CLICK HERE)

This program is offered on a limited case-by-case bases to schools that are fully committed to partcipating in the program and located in the Metro Vancouver area. Priority is given to children ages 9 to 16 who have or who are currently attending Play Centre programs. Programs are booked at least 1 year in advance. The maximum number of children in a group is 5 (1 novice player and 3-4 expert players). The duration of the program is approximately 18 weeks (14-weekly Play Group sessions). Each session is approximately 60-minutes in length, taking place between 9am and 3pm. The program requires the school to provide quiet room  (the same room each week) to run the weekly sessions.  And one school based professional who is prepared to partcipate in the 14 week program and to continue to guide the sessions once Friend 2 Friend has completed the our program.

Fees vary from $3500-$4500 (depending on school location, and if novice player as or is attending Play Centre programs). We encourage families and schools/school districts to share the cost of the program as the program benefits the school as well as the child on the autism spectrum and their peers. Families may use their Autism Funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (pre-approval with contract # must be provided to Friend 2 Friend at the time of booking). To register please contact our office at

Overview of the Services Provided

Preparing for Play Group
Email F2F-IPG Questionnaires to Parents and Professionals
Book intake meeting with school and home based team
Run intake meeting, collect questionnaires
Naturalistic observation at the school
Provide Friend 2 Friend Autism Demystification Programs (2 programs)
Design group structure
Prepare visual supports and provide copies to school and home
Choose expert players
Write and send home "invitation letters" to all players
Play Group Sessions
(weeks 1-7)
Assess players abilities, skills and interests
Design play materials and themes
Provide 7 - 1 hour weekly play group sessions at the school 
Write weekly session notes and email to team
Write and distribute IPG Report with goals and strategies to team
Meet with Play Guide Trainee to discuss goals and strategies
Play Group Sessions
(weeks 8-14)
Implement IPG strategies
Provide 7 - 1 hour weekly play group sessions at the school
Write and distribute weekly session notes
Video tape one play group session for final report
Begin preparing the school based play guide (if applicable)
Write and distribute weekly session notes
Support transition school based play guide trainee into group
Provide copies visual support materials prepared for group
Plan and implement "good-bye" play group session
Write and distribute final report 
Post Play Group
Answer questions and provide support via email or phone to school based play guide trainee as required
Conduct follow-up visit to be arranged with school based play guide trainee
Answer questions with regards to final report via email or phonea

Requests for additional services (over and above the services listed) will be provided time permitting (e.g. extra team meetings, extra material or design of materials, consultation with other professionals, etc) Additional costs may be charge for services.