A naturalistic observation of the play behaviour of children with autism spectrum disorders /
Department of Psychology
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Cognitive and social levels of play engaged in by four-to-eight-year-old children with autism spectrum disorders were examined in naturalistic classroom settings. In addition, play at home was compared with play at school via parent and educator interviews. Seventeen school-age children, their educators and caregivers participated in the study. The most frequently observed play behaviours included parallel-functional play, adult interactions and solitary-functional play. The play of the children in the current study was consistent with that of typically-developing preschoolers. Mothers and educators did not differ significantly in their perspectives of the participants' play behaviours. In general, educators' and caregivers' reports were positively related to researcher observations of participants' play behaviours. Methodological considerations and practical implications for the findings are discussed.