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Hobson, J. et al. (2013) The relation between social engagement and pretend play in autism (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The focus of this study is the nature and concomitants of pretend play among young children with autism. Age- and language-matched children with autism (n= 27), autism spectrum disorder (n= 14), and developmental disorders without autism (n= 16) were administered the Test of Pretend Play (ToPP; Lewis & Boucher, 1997), with an additional rating of 'playful pretence'. As predicted, children with autism showed less playful pretend than participants with developmental disorders who did not have autism. Across the groups, playful pretence was correlated with individual differences in communication and social interaction, even when scores on the ToPP were taken into account. Limitations in creative, playful pretend among children with autism relate to their restricted interpersonal communication and engagement.

Date:
January 2013
Volume:
31
Page/s:
114-127
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Correlational
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social-emotional
Research discipline:

Hobson, J. et al. (2015) Symbolizing as interpersonally grounded shifts in meaning: social play in children with and without autism (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to examine the relation between symbolic play and communicative engagement among children with and without autism. Our predictions were firstly, that in moment-by-moment interactions during semi-structured interactive play with an adult, children with and without autism would tend to show shifts in meanings in symbolic play when engaged in coordinated states of joint engagement (events involving 'sharing-of-meaning'); secondly, that across atypically developing participants, sharing-of-meaning would (a) correlate with scores on a standardized test of pretend play, and (b) be inversely correlated with scores on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; and finally, that participants with autism would contrast with matched developmentally delayed participants in manifesting lower levels of joint engagement, lower levels of symbolic play, and fewer shifts in symbolic meaning. Each of these predictions was borne out. The intimate developmental relation between social engagement and symbolic play appears to be important for explaining the developmental psychopathology of autism.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
45
Page/s:
42-52
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Symbolic play
Research discipline: