The Role of Play in the Social Development of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Campbell, J., Steinbrenner, J. D., & Scheil, K.

From the abstract: "In our chapter, we introduce the importance of play in social, communicative, and emotional development for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and identify evidence-based practices (EBPs) related to play-based interventions. Play is an important domain of child development and is often delayed or unusual for children with ASD. Young children with ASD may show delays in developing spontaneous functional and pretend play and may isolate themselves from others when engaging in play. Older children with ASD may engage in play and leisure activities that foster social isolation. Within school settings, difficulties with play may lead to social isolation during times where play and leisure activities are planned or expected, such as during recess. School professionals may support and facilitate successful play development and peer interactions within schools. Various interventions have shown to be effective in supporting play development and skills for students with ASD, such as peer-mediated interventions, direct instruction in play, and packaged playbased interventions. We provide overviews of various interventions and direct the interested reader to resources for more information about implementation."

Citation: Campbell, J., Steinbrenner, J. D., & Scheil, K. (2018). The role of play in the social development of children with autism spectrum disorder. In L. Nabors & R. Hawkins (Eds.), Promoting prosocial behaviors in children through games and play: Making social emotional learning fun (pp. 85-116). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Publishers.