An examination of interactions among children with autism and their typically developing peers Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine whether pre-school children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interact differently with their peers with ASD compared to their typically developing (TD) peers, across three activities (free play, structured group time and semi-structured play) in an early intervention setting. METHODS: We completed a series of non-experimental case studies involving 13 children with ASD and two TD peers. RESULTS: We found trends, but no uniform differences, in the frequency or quality of means by which the children with ASD interacted with one another versus with their TD peers across the three contexts. The children with ASD interacted with both peer types more frequently during the semi-structured and structured activities, than during free play. CONCLUSIONS: The children with ASD showed no clear bias towards one peer type over the other. Semi-structured activities may be the best context in which to facilitate peer interactions involving children with ASD in early intervention settings.

publication date

  • 2014