Strategies for Promoting Complex Social Play in Children with Autism Using Photographic Activity Schedules
Play serves an important function in the lives of young children. Through play, children learn about the world around them and come to understand the social rules and conventions that define the human experience. Many young children with autism spectrum disorders, however, do not develop the skills necessary to play appropriately with other children or even when alone. Over the past several years, behavioral researchers have developed support strategies to teach young children with autism to play using a visual cueing system called photographic activity schedules in combination with social scripting and script fading. In the current presentation, strategies for using activity schedules and script fading to promote both independent and complex social play will be described and discussed. Recent research illustrating the effective use of activity schedules and script fading to promote complex social play between children with autism and their typically developing peers will also be presented and discussed.
Presented at the 2019 Michigan Autism Conference
Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor and Interim Department Head in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University. He serves as the Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism that he founded in 2003. He is a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Utah. He is also chair of the Disability Disciplines doctoral program at Utah State University. His research focuses on the development of effective educational and behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities as well as the development of effective training strategies for teaching parents and professionals to implement effective interventions. He is a former associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and the European Journal of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Higbee is committed to the dissemination of effective behavioral interventions and has helped to create intensive behavior analytic preschool and school programs for children with autism and related disorders in Brazil, Russia, Portugal, and throughout his home state of Utah. He is the past president of the Utah Association for Behavior Analysis (UtABA) and has served as a member of the Practice Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Psychologist Licensing Board of the state of Utah.