Academic journal article Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children's Socialization and Imagination-Integrated Play Groups Field Manual

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children's Socialization and Imagination-Integrated Play Groups Field Manual

Article excerpt

Pamela J. Wolfberg

(2003) Autism Asperger Publishing Company, Kansas

Acknowledging the importance of play and imagination in social development, Pamela Wolfberg has written a field manual that addresses the social deficits that so often prevent children on the autism spectrum from engaging in shared play experiences that are necessary for 'attaining social competence and forming meaningful relationships' (Wolfberg, 2003, p. ii).

Peer play and the autism spectrum: The art of guiding children's socialization and imagination provides parents, carers and educators with an introduction to the Integrated Play Groups (IPG) model and the basic principles, tools and techniques of which it is comprised. The model offers a structured system of support to promote participation in diverse play experiences that will ultimately allow children of varying ages and abilities on the autism spectrum to develop a sense of acceptance and belonging in their community.

Wolfberg has very successfully provided a step-by-step guide for implementing the IPG model for those involved with facilitating meaningful learning experiences for young children on the autism spectrum and their typical peers. Clear and practical guidelines on implementing the model are divided into four 'phases':

1. embracing the spirit of play;

2. setting the stage for play;

3. …

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