Qualities of symbolic play among children with autism. A social-developmental perspective

Hobson, R Peter, Lee, Anthony and Hobson, Jessica A (2009) Qualities of symbolic play among children with autism. A social-developmental perspective. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39 (1). pp. 12-22. ISSN 0162-3257 (Print) 1573-3432 (Online)

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We hypothesized that the qualities of play shown by children with autism reflect their impoverished experience of identifying with other people’s attitudes and moving among person-anchored perspectives. On this basis, we predicted their play should manifest a relative lack of the social-developmental hallmarks that typify creative symbolic functioning. We videotaped the spontaneous and modelled symbolic play of matched groups of children with and without autism. The two groups were similar in the mechanics of play, for example in making one thing stand for another and using materials flexibly. By contrast, and as predicted, children with autism were rated as showing less playful pretend involving self-conscious awareness of pretending, investment in the symbolic meanings given to play materials, creativity, and fun.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Creative Symbolic Functioning, Self Conscious Awareness, Awareness, Psychosocial Development, Symbolism, Childhood Play
Subjects: Communication (incl. disorders of) > Autism
Department/People: Special Units
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/291

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