Participation in preschool activities of children with autistic spectrum disorder and comparison to typically developing children

Anat Golos*, Hadas Ben-Zur, Sophi Itkin Chapani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Participation is essential to children's development and is a major focus of intervention. This study aimed to describe the participation patterns of children with ASD, in comparison to typically developing (TD) children. Methods: 70 preschoolers participated: 33 children with ASD, attending non-inclusive-education settings; and 37 TD children, attending mainstream educational settings. Two occupational therapists assessed their participation through structured observations in self-care activities, play, learning, and social participation areas; demographic and environmental questionnaires were also completed. Results: In the ASD group, frequency of participation was found to be significantly higher in ADL and learning than in other areas; level of performance was found to be significantly lower in social participation than in other areas. The TD group scored significantly higher than did the ASD group in most areas and scales. Initial findings tentatively showed that a structured educational environment for children with ASD may increase participation frequency. Conclusions: The findings are consistent with recognized disabilities in play and social participation among children with ASD, and their limitations in participation, compared to their TD peers in most areas. Further studies are needed to evaluate additional psychometric properties of the different scales, and the impact of educational environments on participation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104252
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (No. 28032018) and the Israeli Ministry of Education (No. 10087).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Autistic spectrum disorder
  • Children
  • Educational environment
  • Participation
  • Preschool daily activities


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