Three Evidence-Based Strategies that Support Social Skills and Play Among Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research demonstrates young children with autism and other developmental disabilities can benefit from participation in play activities with peers. Play provides opportunities to increase social skills across developmental domains in an integrated manner and provides opportunities to develop a sense of belonging and friendship; these goals are critical for young children with disabilities. However, in order for children with disabilities to benefit from the interactions that occur during play and to continue to progress developmentally in play skills, systematic intervention in social skills is needed. A variety of evidence-based practices provide guidance to teachers. In this article, three strategies are presented to assist early childhood educators. The three research-based strategies include the use of scripts, video modeling, and embedding choice as part of classroom activities. These practices create a context in which play skills can be developed and used in natural environments, thereby facilitating children’s engagement in play and improving the likelihood for improved interactions with peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Disabled Children
autism
disability
Developmental Disabilities
Evidence-Based Practice
Autistic Disorder
Research
evidence
interaction
friendship
video
childhood
educator
classroom
participation
teacher
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Social Skills

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Disabilities
  • Play
  • Social skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "Research demonstrates young children with autism and other developmental disabilities can benefit from participation in play activities with peers. Play provides opportunities to increase social skills across developmental domains in an integrated manner and provides opportunities to develop a sense of belonging and friendship; these goals are critical for young children with disabilities. However, in order for children with disabilities to benefit from the interactions that occur during play and to continue to progress developmentally in play skills, systematic intervention in social skills is needed. A variety of evidence-based practices provide guidance to teachers. In this article, three strategies are presented to assist early childhood educators. The three research-based strategies include the use of scripts, video modeling, and embedding choice as part of classroom activities. These practices create a context in which play skills can be developed and used in natural environments, thereby facilitating children’s engagement in play and improving the likelihood for improved interactions with peers.",
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AB - Research demonstrates young children with autism and other developmental disabilities can benefit from participation in play activities with peers. Play provides opportunities to increase social skills across developmental domains in an integrated manner and provides opportunities to develop a sense of belonging and friendship; these goals are critical for young children with disabilities. However, in order for children with disabilities to benefit from the interactions that occur during play and to continue to progress developmentally in play skills, systematic intervention in social skills is needed. A variety of evidence-based practices provide guidance to teachers. In this article, three strategies are presented to assist early childhood educators. The three research-based strategies include the use of scripts, video modeling, and embedding choice as part of classroom activities. These practices create a context in which play skills can be developed and used in natural environments, thereby facilitating children’s engagement in play and improving the likelihood for improved interactions with peers.

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