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Developing a targeted graduated exposure to peers for a 4-year-old child who does not tolerate other children in his environment

Elisabet Armengol Lopez, Ainoa Ibongo Molongua and Marta Rapp Wright

ABSTRACT: This case study shows the development of social play skills of a 4-year-old child over an 8-month period. During this time, the child attended the BeyondAutism Early Years service on 41 occasions and followed an individualised plan devised from observations, an informal interview with parents, a baseline assessment using the Essential for Living (EFL) assessment (McGreavy, Fry & Cornwall, 2012), and a Play and Social Skills Assessment (adapted from Ingersoll & Dvortcsak, 2019; Parten, 1932). ​

The Early Years’ Service is a free provision where families are supported by a interdisciplinary team during this crucial time, to empower them to build skills, knowledge, and confidence to support their children in developing communication and language, and to better understand their child’s behaviours that challenge. The service works closely with parents and carers, focussing on behaviours, relationships, and developmental play, underpinned by Behaviour Analysis.  ​

BeyondAutism Early Years believe that play is an important milestone in every child’s development that acts as a scaffold to develop every other skill. A unique social and play skills assessment developed within the service was used to track the progress of the child. Parents of the child were successfully involved in the learning process, providing them with detailed targets and guidance throughout their attendance. ​

The results section of this study has shown progress on the areas that were targeted, thus being pre-requisite skills to later build up the child’s social skills.

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