Stefanie C. Bodison; Developmental Dyspraxia and the Play Skills of Children With Autism. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(5):6905185060. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.017954
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OBJECTIVE. This study sought to investigate the impact of developmental dyspraxia on the play skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
METHOD. The praxis abilities of 32 children with ASD (mean age = 7.5 yr) were assessed using two subtests of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests and the Planning and Ideas domain of the Sensory Processing Measure Home Form. Play and leisure skills were measured with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition. Utilizing correlation coefficients, we investigated the relationship between developmental dyspraxia and the play skills of children with ASD.
RESULTS. Children with ASD demonstrated definite dysfunction in imitative praxis abilities, the generation of ideas, and participation in age-appropriate play and leisure activities.
CONCLUSION. Praxis problems in children with ASD greatly affect their successful participation in play and leisure activities.
Difficulty imitating demonstrated actions (Item 72)
Difficulty building to copy a model, such as using Legos (Item 73)
Trouble coming up with ideas for new games or activities (Item 74)
Playing the same activities “over and over” (Item 75).
Plays cooperatively with more than one child for more than 5 min
Plays with others with minimal supervision
Uses common household objects or other objects for make-believe activities
Plays simple make-believe activities with others.
Children with ASD have praxis difficulties that affect their ability to fully participate in play and leisure activities.
Although parent-completed questionnaires are commonly used to assess the play skills of children with ASD, they may not be sensitive enough to provide adequate insight into the quality of or underlying client factors contributing to the deficits in play skills.
A comprehensive occupational therapy evaluation, including assessment of sensory integration and praxis skills, provides the most precise information to aid in the development of intervention programs to improve participation in play and leisure activities for children with ASD.
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