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Use of a creative dance intervention package to increase social engagement and play complexity of young children with autism spectrum disorder

Play skills are central to development of children's language and cognitive skills. However, social, symbolic, and object play skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are frequently impaired. This study examined the effects of a strategy that utilized preferred play materials, antecedent creative dance activities, and priming of complex play with preferred play materials within dance activities on play behaviors of children with ASD during learning centers in inclusive preschool classrooms. Measured play skills included social play, specific social play levels, and play complexity. The strategy was successful in increasing skills in all three areas. However, skill maintenance was limited. (author abstract)
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