ERIC Number: ED409680
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Changes in Preschool Children's Social Interactions with Classmates with and without Disabilities.
Bandyk, Jennifer E.; Diamond, Karen E.
This study examined changes in the social interactions of children with and without disabilities, who were enrolled in inclusive preschool classes. It investigated the frequency of child participation in groups during free play, differences in participation patterns of children with and without disabilities, and ways in which children's patterns of participation with children and adults during free play changed over the course of the year. Four preschool classrooms with 59 children (52 typically developing and seven with such disabilities as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and severe communication disorders) were observed during free play using a classroom mapping procedure and coding. The study found that children with disabilities were observed interacting with peers or playing in proximity to peers 58 percent of the time in the fall, and 54 percent in the spring. In contrast, normally developing children spent almost three quarters of their time in both fall and spring interacting with peers or in close proximity. Children with disabilities interacted with teachers 23 percent of the time in the fall and 31 percent in the spring (compared to about 10 percent both times for normally developing children). Results suggest that, while children with disabilities have social skill deficits and are seen as less desirable play partners, interactions between children with and without disabilities occurred with significant frequency. (Contains 13 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN. Dept. of Child Development and Family Studies.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).