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ERIC Number: EJ788371
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0020-7187
Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Early Childhood Education Programs: A Social Constructivist Perspective on Inclusion
Walker, Sue; Berthelsen, Donna
International Journal of Early Childhood, v40 n1 p33-51 2008
This research investigated the nature of play activities and the social engagement of young children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in inclusive early childhood settings. Twelve focus children with a diagnosis of ASD participated in the research. These children were enrolled in regular early childhood education programs with typically developing peers aged four to five years. A comparison group of 30 children with typical development were also included in the research. Children completed the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) to assess their linguistic competence. Time-sampled observations of free play activities were made in the preschool settings on two occasions for periods of one hour. Teachers also provided an assessment of children's peer acceptance and social behaviour. The observational data and teacher reports indicated that the focus children spent proportionally less time than their peers in activities requiring higher levels of social skills. However, focus children engaged in most types of play but with lower levels of engagement than the comparison group. This indicated that the focus children were able to perform the play and social behaviours that were of interest in the observations. These children with ASD were capable of more extensive social and play engagement because they had demonstrated the requisite skills. These results indicated the need for greater teacher support to scaffold and support the interactions of children with ASD with their typically developing peers in order to increase their social and play participation in inclusive programs. (Contains 4 tables and 1 footnote.)
OMEP: Organisation Mondiale pour l'Education Prescolaire. Goteborg University, Department of Education, Box 300, Goteborg, SE-40530, Sweden. Tel: +46-317-732461; Fax: +46-317-732391; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test