Making connections with neurodiverse children through play (2-part series)

By Jo Grimmond



National Quality Standard
QA5Relationships with children
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
1Know students and how they learn
4Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
7Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community


Jo Grimmond
Jo Grimmond has worked in early childhood education and care (ECEC) for 30 years as a teacher, director, lecturer, trainer, and community engagement coordinator.  She is also certified in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), and uses this experience and expertise to support educators in their work with children with Autism. Her current role is...
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This series is suitable for all educators currently working in an approved education and care setting across Australia. This is a foundation course that focuses on essential knowledge to guide children’s behaviour and may be suitable for educators who are new to the sector or embarking on a formal early childhood qualification.


Learners will have the opportunity to discover the meaning of neurodiversity, and make connections through play-based learning. You will explore the brain and its functions, and learn how neurodiverse children see and engage in play differently. Having an understanding of how neurodiverse children brains work, will ultimately support educators to develop safe, secure and trusting relationships with children through play.


Educators who are able to support play with children will promote individual learning and development, and enhance children’s understanding of the world around them.


In part 1 of this series, you will:


  • develop an understanding of neurodiversity, neurodiverse children and how they interact with their environment
  • explore the importance of play in developing relationships with children
  • discover how to be a positive play partner and build relationships through play.


In part 2 of this series, you will:


  • discover how to respond to children in play
  • develop an understanding of how to build play skills
  • explore the importance of developing trusting relationships to support families.


Duration: 40 minutes