Date of Award

12-1998

Degree Name

Specialist in Education

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kristal E Ehrhardt

Second Advisor

Ruth Ervin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The effects of environmental arrangement strategies and direct social skill instruction on the interactive play of preschoolers with and without disabilities was examined. The results indicated increased levels of interactive play for at least one of the experimental phases for all students with Autism. Typically-developing students showed increases in interactive play during the environmental arrangements phase, but decreases during social skill instruction. The frequency of initiations and sharings by the target students was variable. Initiations and sharings by peers to the target students increased during both phases for students with Autism and increased for typically-developing students during the environmental arrangements phase. Acceptability ratings by the teachers indicate perceptions of effectiveness for both intervention phases and for both typical and Autistic preschoolers. Implications for future practice include incorporating research based environmental arrangement strategies and direct social skill instruction into inclusive preschool curricula to support social development.

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