Journal article

Metacommunication, social pretend play and children with autism

Susan Douglas, Lesley Stirling

AUSTRALASIAN JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2012

Abstract

This article investigates proceses of engagement in social pretend play between children with autism (age range 3.6 to 7.2 years) and adult play partners, using a large corpus of conversational data. We take a qualitative discourse analytic approach to investigate the metacommunicative strategies used by the children. Our initial framework for exploring these issues is Giffin's (1984) model of verbal and nonverbal metacommunication in sociodramatic pretend play, and we develop this model further by proposing a cline of engagement along which we situate the children in our study. We found that, while all the children do participate in pretend play, and engage with the adult play partners to a..

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University of Melbourne Researchers