Therapists are frequently asked for suggestions on improving inclusive classrooms settings whether it be for accessibility, play, social or peer interactions. Here are 5 evidence based tips to increase peer interactions during playtime for children with disabilities:
- Toys should be limited and well chosen. Children will play longer when allowed to choose their playthings. Social play such as pretend play, creativity or cooperative play helps to increase social interactions.
- Group children with disabilities with peers who demonstrate appropriate social skills.
- Keep adult child interaction to a minimum.
- The target behaviors should be play and joint attention.
- Play area should be relatively small.
Reference: Papacek, A. M., Chai, Z., & Green, K. B. (2015). Play and Social Interaction Strategies for Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Inclusive Preschool Settings. Young Exceptional Children, 1096250615576802.
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