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ERIC Number: EJ1202362
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1944-7515
Similarities in Functional Play and Differences in Symbolic Play of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Thiemann-Bourque, Kathy; Johnson, Lynette K.; Brady, Nancy C.
American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, v124 n1 p77-91 Jan 2019
Contradictory reports of play strengths and weaknesses for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) persist in the literature. We compared the play of 19 children with ASD to 19 typically developing (TD) children matched on language and cognitive skills. All children were verbal. Results revealed no differences in indiscriminate actions, functional play, and object interest. The children with ASD showed less symbolic play and a significantly fewer number of children met criteria for emerging or mastered symbolic play. A specific deficit was observed for "doll as agent" symbolic play. Outcomes suggest that compared to children without disabilities, children with ASD may have comparable functional play skills and struggle with the transition to some, but not all types of symbolic play.
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. P.O. Box 1897, Lawrence, KS 66044-1897. Tel: 785-843-1235; Fax: 785-843-1274; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DC007684|HD018955|HD002528|DC012530