ERIC Number: EJ1062964
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
Children's Play Behaviour and Social Communication in Integrated Special Day-Care Groups
Suhonen, Eira; Nislin, Mari A.; Alijoki, Alisa; Sajaniemi, Nina K.
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v30 n3 p287-303 2015
The aim of this study was to investigate children's social communication abilities and play to reveal possible changes during a one year period in the context of Finnish early childhood special education. The data we collected during 2012-2013 consisted of assessments of play behaviour (Preschool Play Behavior Scale) and social communication (Assesment, Evaluation and Programming System for Infants and Children, AEPS) conducted by early childhood special education teachers. The participating children with (N = 89) and without (N = 124) special educational needs (SEN) were attending integrated special day care groups (N = 21) in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. The children's SEN was divided into three types: language disorders, self-regulation and severe disabilities. Differences were examined by analysis of variance, and relations between variables were tested using the structural equation model techniques. Our primary results demonstrated statistically significant differences between children with and without SEN in both social communication competence and social play (p < 0.01). Mainly, the children with severe disabilities seemed to fall behind in more social forms of play behaviour compared to other children with or without SEN. Interestingly, in children with severe disabilities, their social play declined even as their skills in social communication slightly increased. These results highlight the importance of play in early childhood special education and stress teachers' significant role in guiding and supporting play.
Descriptors: Play, Interpersonal Communication, Social Behavior, Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Foreign Countries, Language Impairments, Severe Disabilities, Statistical Analysis, Self Control, Structural Equation Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland