The Role of High Level Play as a Predictor Social Functioning in Autism

Original Paper


Play and social abilities of a group of children diagnosed with high functioning autism were compared to a second group diagnosed with a variety of developmental language disorders (DLD). The children with autism engaged in fewer acts of high level play. The children with autism also had significantly lower social functioning than the DLD group early in the play session; however, these differences were no longer apparent by the end of the play session. In addition, a significant association existed between play and social functioning regardless of diagnosis. This suggests that play may act as a current indicator of social ability while providing an arena for social skills practice.


Autism Pretend play Social functioning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.EK Shriver CenterUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWalthamUSA

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