Relations Between Activities and Cooperative Playground Interactions for Preschool-Age Children with Special Needs
Source: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Volume 11, Number 4, December 1999 , pp. 339-352(14)
The playground is a setting wherein teachers, therapists, and early intervention specialists may facilitate the inclusion of children with special needs. For this study, the relations among cooperative interactions of children with and children without special needs in groups of only typically developing peers, in groups of only peers having special needs, and in inclusive groups, as well as the complexity of the activities in which they were engaged were investigated. Complex activities were those involving fine motor skills as well as higher levels of cognitive, social, and language abilities. The associations among child and program level factors and the children's involvement in different cooperative activities also were examined. Findings indicated that children with and children without special needs were likely to engage in cooperative play only with other typically developing children during complex activities (e.g., playing with small toys in the sand or talking). Results also indicated that children with and children without special needs tended to engage in cooperative play in inclusive groups (composed of children with and children without special needs) during less complex or low-demand activities involving predominantly gross motor skills (e.g., sliding or running). Interventions are needed to facilitate involvement of children with special needs in complex activities on the playground. This is an important area for future research and educational practice efforts.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Division of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 701 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201 2: Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine 3: Westat Incorporated, Rockville, Maryland
Publication date: 1999-12-01