Recent research has found that play based intervention helps preschoolers with autism.
Teachers in several classrooms for preschool children with autism were able to integrate a therapy called Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement and Regulation, or JASPER into the childrens’ daily routine.
Follow up showed that students who were in classrooms using the built in technique had a significant difference in progress from those who were instructed using traditional methods. The study was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
The study found that teachers who were trained in and implemented the JASPER method maintained the benefits after the conclusion of the study.
“Children in the treatment group made significantly greater improvements in engagement, play, social communication and language,” said study author Connie Kasari of the University of California, Los Angeles. “The changes were clinically meaningful. These are difficult areas to improve in children, so the changes are very encouraging.”