For young children, playing with toys and with other children is usually as natural as breathing. Most children prefer the company of other children to being alone. Even infants usually prefer the human voice over other sounds and choose pictures of human faces over other pictures or patterns. For children or adults with autism or similar developmental disorders, however, these same natural activities become difficult tasks they have to master. In fact, difficulty with social interaction and representational play is one of the identifying characteristics in the definition of autism (American Psychiatric Association, 1994; National Society for Autistic Children, 1977). Children with autism often respond to common toys by tasting, banging, or spinning them. They often lack the ability to pretend-play or imitate others. They may not have a sense of winning or losing, and they often seem to be indifferent or even hostile to playing with different toys or other children.
KeywordsBurning Beach Fishing Vigil
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