The purpose of this study was to examine play and joint attention in children with autism (n=27) as compared to children with other developmental delays (n=28) in public preschool special education classrooms. The participants were observed in their classroom environment for 2 h over 3 separate days. Results show that children with autism spent more of their time unengaged and less time engaged in symbolic play and joint attention behaviors as compared to children with other developmental delays. Additionally, teachers seldom focused directly on symbolic play and joint attention in their teaching. These findings suggest the importance of educating teachers to target play and joint attention skills in their preschool special education classes, specifically for children with autism.