TitleChild Behaviors of Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Across Play Settings.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMacdonald, M, Hatfield, BE, Twardzik, E
JournalAdapt Phys Activ Q
Date Published2017 Jan
KeywordsAutism Spectrum Disorder, Child, Child Behavior, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Male, Motor Skills Disorders, Play and Playthings, Social Behavior

The hallmark characteristics of a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are deficits in social communicative skills and the use of repetitive and/or stereotyped behaviors. In addition, children with ASD experience known motor-skill delays. The purpose of this study was to examine salient child behaviors of young children with and without ASD in 2 distinctly different play settings: a traditional social-play-based setting and a motor-behavior-based play setting. Child behavior (engagement toward parent, negativity, and attention) and dyad characteristics (connectedness) were examined in 2 distinctly different play settings. Results indicated that children with ASD performed more like their peers without ASD in a social-play-based setting and less like their peers in a motor-behavior-based play setting. Aspects of our results shed light on the critical need to develop creative methods of early intervention that combine efforts in all aspects of child development, including motor-skill development.

Alternate JournalAdapt Phys Activ Q
PubMed ID28218869