Academic journal article Exceptional Children

Play Behavior of Hearing Impaired Children: Integrated and Segregated Settings

Academic journal article Exceptional Children

Play Behavior of Hearing Impaired Children: Integrated and Segregated Settings

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: The free-play behavior of young hearing impaired children in integrated and segrated settings was compared using a multielement baseline design. Two children, aged 3 and 5, were observed using momentary time sampling of their play as they alternated from one setting to the other. Data were collected in each setting for various categories of play behavior. The categories were derived from the classic play categories of Parten and Smilansky. Results indicate that the children engaged in more socially advanced play in the integrated setting. F] Since 1975, legislative and legal mandates have resulted in the placement of increasing numbers of young handicapped children into integrated settings with their nonhandicapped peers. As a result, the effects of integrating handicapped and nonhandicapped preschoolers have become a major research focus in special education (Kohl & Beckman, 1984). A number of logical arguments and some empirical data have been presented to support the contention that integrated environments can have a positive impact on the less advanced children Gurainick, 1976, 1978). Handicapped children can benefit from interaction with advanced models during play, the experience of more realistic social consequences, and the observation of more appropriate communicative interactions (Guralnick, 1978, 1980).

Although the integration of handicapped preschool children with their nonhandicapped peers has been identified as "best educational practice" (Vincent, Brown, & Getz-Sheftel, 1981), the integration of young hearing impaired children has been relatively slow. Reluctance toward the placement of hearing impaired children in regular early childhood programs may be due to what has been referred to as the parochial and insular nature of deaf education (Northcott, 1978). As a result, young hearing impaired children frequently spend most or all of their school day in segregated settings with other similarly handicapped children.

The occurrence of play interactions among young children is being increasingly recognized as an important component of normal child development (Hartup, 1978; Higginbotham & Baker, 1981). It is also recognized that the communication deficits of young hearing impaired children interfere with normal play development (Higginbotham, Baker, & Neill, 1980). Delayed verbal language ability, for example, may restrict the emergence of cooperative make-believe play involving the symbolic use of objects and sophisticated peer interaction because verbal exchange appears necessary to sustain such play (Darbyshire, 1977; Garvey, 1974; Garvey & Hogan, 1973; Higginbotham & Baker, 1981). As a result, hearing impaired children tend to engage in less complex and less social play than do normally hearing children (Brackett & Henniges, 1976; Kretschmer, 1972; Mann, 1984).

In recent years, research designed to learn more about the play of young hearing impaired children has taken place. The majority of this work has examined play differences between hearing impaired and normally hearing children (Aymard, 1977; Darbyshire, 1977; Hasenstab, 1975; Higginbotham & Baker, 1981; Kretschmer, 1972; Mann, 1984; McKirdy, 1978; Paddon, 1980; Van Lieshout, 1973). A number of researchers have compared dichotomous groups of hearing impaired children. For example, children with high and low verbal language ability have been compared (Brackett & Henniges, 1976; Casby & McCormack, 1985). Other researchers have examined the effects of integrated versus segregated settings on the play of hearing impaired children imbedded within larger groups of exceptional children (Federlein, 1980; Field, Roseman, De Stefano, & Koewler, 1982). Finally, a few researchers have used within-subject designs to examine the effects of setting on play (e.g., Fenrick, Pearson, & Pepelnjak, 1984).

The present investigation involved observation of the free-play behavior of two hearing impaired children in two naturally occurring conditions: an integrated and a segregated setting. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.