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Play and Imagination in Children with Autism

Pamela J. Wolfberg

216 pages
Teachers College Press

This now-classic text remains a cornerstone of continuing efforts to develop inclusive peer play programs for children on the autism spectrum. The second edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect major new developments in the field of autism. Notable additions include an updated description of the Integrated Play Groups (IPG) model and related research; an examination of the nature of autism and of play from past to present, with major updates on incidence, diagnosis, and characteristics; and a comprehensive review of play interventions.

Presenting vivid descriptions of three children with autism over a 10-year period (from age 5 to age 16), Play and Imagination in Children with Autism:

  • Traces the development of the children as they overcome obstacles to enter into the play culture of their peers.
  • Focuses on 2 critical years during which the children participated in a peer play group.
  • Documents the emergence of remarkable transformations in the children’s social relations with peers and symbolic activity.
  • Includes vignettes, dialogue, and samples of writing and drawing that bring the children’s stories to life.
  • Lays out the implications for new directions in research and practice.

Praise for the First Edition of Play and Imagination in Children with Autism!

“This book is a ‘must’ for anyone who wants to bring about genuine social reciprocity and imagination in children with autistic spectrum disorders. Pamela Wolfberg takes us on a journey through previously uncharted territory, documenting in rich qualitative detail how to scaffold entry into the culture of peer play.” —Adriana L. Schuler, San Francisco State University

“Dr. Wolfberg has done a fine and sensitive job in characterizing the pivotal role that play skills hold in the social and linguistic world of the child with autism. Her development of Integrated Peer Play Groups, and the delineation of the autistic child as the ‘Novice Player’ and the typical child as the ‘Expert Player,’ is a very valuable heuristic tool to all who work with children with autism.” —Bryna Siegel, Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco

Author Bio

Pamela J. Wolfberg is Associate Professor of special education and Director of the autism spectrum graduate program (Project Mosaic) at San Francisco State University.