International Meeting for Autism Research (London, May 15-17, 2008): PLAY GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER SYNDROME


Saturday, May 17, 2008
Champagne Terrace/Bordeaux (Novotel London West)
A. Giannaka , Clinical Psychopathology and Neuropsychology, UNIVERSITY OF PARIS V - RENE DESCARTES, Paris, France
J. L. Adrien , Clinical Psychopathology and Neuropsychology, UNIVERSITY OF PARIS V - RENE DESCARTES, Paris, France
Background: Studies have documented effective peer social intervention approaches for children with Asperger Syndrome. The children's success in establishing and maintaining friendships relates to their capacity to enter peer groups and coordinate enjoyed play activity. Objectives: This longitudinal study (3years) consisted of a psycho educative intervention aimed to develop the children social and imaginative potential, playing with peers, making friends and favour ting their social integration.
Objectives: n/a
Methods: 10 children with Asperger syndrome, 6-13 years old, participated in this study in Greece. Each child participated in a social skills group with 3 others "typical" children of the same age and development. Play group sessions met 1 time per week for 1 hour over 3 years period. The intervention was based upon a member of activities from different programs: Tacade skills for the primary school, J. Baker's programme, Battlori's artistic expression games, traditional Greek games, drama, music, role play based on friendship models in fairy tales, physical activities, group art work. At school, in the recreation ground, 10 educational assistants carried out a well-structured programme consisting of a variety of activities based on the interests of each child and his peers and encourage interactive play, the child participation in games and potential friendships. The assessment tools are the T. Attwood's Friendship Observation Schedule (2004), the J. Baker's rating form (2003), the C. Gray's questionnaire on rating social behaviour (1993), the Ingram-Troxell Playground Observation Checklist (2007).
Results: Children have improved their conversational ability, they start play and participate in a group in the recreation ground, they express their emotions more clearly and their social behaviour became more appropriate.
Conclusions: The participation of the children with Asperger Syndrome in play groups activities with typical children and the multidisciplinary approach of the intervention actualize their potential to socialize and reinforce their relations with peers.
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