Pretend Play And Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Deficits And Interventions

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily J. Jorgenson (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Erin Hoffman

Abstract: Pretend play is a critical social and linguistic interaction for children and a milestone in child development. A review of 34 peer-reviewed articles and books confirms a distinct deficit in the pretend play of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Pretend acts by children with ASD are simpler, more restricted, and occur less often than children without ASD. Pretend play can be taught to children with ASD or facilitated with shown benefits in the frequency and quality of pretend play, social skills, and language development. Positive impacts of pretend play facilitation and social behavior include improved appropriateness, increased peer interactions, and more novel play. Language benefits of pretend play facilitation are increased speech, more appropriate speech, a rich context for language acquisition, and expressive and receptive language improvements. The facilitation of pretend play through peer modeling, adult modeling, video modeling, least-to-most prompting, and pivotal response training is effective and should focus on generalization and maintenance of acquired skills. Future research should examine solitary pretend play and the creation of a universal scale for pretend play behaviors.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Jorgenson, E. (2017). "Pretend Play And Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Deficits And Interventions." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
autism spectrum disorder (ASD), pretend play, play deficit, language intervention, social intervention

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