Researchers at the University of California, Davis, MIND Institute are studying an adaptation of the Early Start Denver Model -- an approach that uses specialized play therapy to help children as young as 1 who have autism by building relationships and reinforcing verbal skills and eye contact during collaborative play. "What the child learns is that it's more fun to do things with others, rather than alone," researcher Sally Rogers said. "Kids with autism enjoy playing with others, they enjoy being tickled. They just don't know how to initiate."

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