Structured Play Groups

PMII logo

Structured Play Groups

Structured play groups are small group activities with a defined area, activity, theme, and roles with typically developing peers and an adult scaffolding as needed to support the learner with ASD's performance.

What Will I Learn?

The AFIRM model guides the learner through four lessons to facilitate:

  • Learning basic knowledge about structured play groups (SPG).
  • Applying SPG in activity based scenarios that promote real-world application.

The SPG module will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. However, the module is broken into individual lessons to help guide your learning:

Lesson Time to Complete
A Case for SPG 10 minutes
Lesson 1: Basics of SPG 20 minutes
Lesson 2: Planning for SPG 25 minutes
Lesson 3: Using SPG 25 minutes
Lesson 4: Monitoring SPG 25 minutes
Applying SPG 10 minutes
Suggested citation:
Sam, A., Kucharczyk, S., Waters, V., & AFIRM Team. (2018). Structured play groups. Chapel Hill, NC: National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder, FPG Child Development Center, University of North Carolina. Retrieved from

Professional Standards

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards that apply to all 27 evidence-based practices (PDF document, 2 pages)

CEC standards that apply specifically to the structured play groups (SPG) module (PDF document, 1 page)


Login or sign up to access free AFIRM online module and resources.