“You’re Playing Because it’s Fun”? Mothers’ and Teachers’ Perspectives Regarding Play Interactions with Children with ASD

Shulamit Pinchover*, Cory Shulman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) differ from typically developing (TD) children in their play and social abilities. Consequently, play-interactions, commonly shared enjoyable experiences that create positive connections between caregivers and children, can be complex and challenging for children with ASD. Little is known, however, about the subjective experiences of caregivers (mothers and teachers) who play with young children with ASD. The current study investigates their subjective perspectives and related beliefs through qualitative semi-structured interviews with 12 mothers of children with ASD and 11 preschool teachers who work with children with ASD. As part of the interviews, caregivers were asked to comment on videotaped observations of half-hour free play-interactions between themselves and the child with ASD. The study revealed four distinct caregiver perspectives: playful, goal-oriented, integrated, and perceived incompetence perspective. Each type was characterized using three themes: the child in the interaction, the purpose of the interaction, and the caregiver’s role. These findings contribute to the understanding of subjective perceptions regarding play-interactions with children with ASD. This may be useful for professionals working with caregivers of children with ASD and helpful in developing more effective play interventions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)643-664
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • ASD
  • Mother
  • Perspectives
  • Play-interaction
  • Teacher
  • Young children

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