"Social-communication (SC) and play skills are often challenging for children with ASD, and research suggests these are pivotal skills linked to later language development, adaptive, and academic skills (e.g.,Doctoroff et al., 2006; Kasari et al., 2012). Researchers reported benefits for young children with ASD following interventions targeting SC, particularly joint attention (Kaale et al. 2012; Schertz et al., 2018), pretend play (Stagnitti et al., 2012; Wolfberg et al., 2015), and SC and play skills simultaneously (e.g., Chiang et al., 2016; Kasari et al., 2006, 2010, 2012). This research highlights the promise of positive outcomes from targeting these skills. However, many existing interventions that target SC and play for young children with ASD are designed to be delivered by clinicians (e.g., Kasari et al., 2006) or parents (e.g., Chiang et al., 2016; Schertz et al., 2018), and many children with ASD spend much of their time in preschool classrooms with recent U.S. data indicating nearly 75% of preschool aged children with ASD spend more than 10 hours per week in classrooms (Data Accountability Center, 2018). These data further support the need for preschool practitioners to have supports designed to help them target specific skills and better engage children with ASD, particularly in inclusive preschool settings, as evidence suggests engaging all children and facilitating interactions between them could lead to optimal outcomes for all young children (DEC/NAEYC, 2009)."
Amsbary, J., Alzamel, A., Lin, M-L., Savage, M., Reszka, S., Crais, E., Watson, L., & Boyd, B. (2021). Identifying and targeting social-communication and play skills for preschoolers with autism. Young Exceptional Children. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/10962506211051389