The article under consideration, published in the Early Childhood Education Journal, delves into teaching play to enhance learning outcomes and improve the quality of life of children with disabilities. Sara Movahedazarhouligh discusses numerous research-based practices and interventions that prove effective in teaching play skills. Several sources and studies demonstrate that play is critical in the learning and development of young learners in many ways and contributes significantly to their overall wellness. Thus, the article under consideration is essential for professional reference when teaching children with disabilities as it offers practical methods of teaching and improving children’s lives.
Many professionals continually emphasize the relevance of play in enhancing school readiness and further incorporating numeracy, language, and pre-literacy skills. There is a pressing need to develop novel, evidence-based approaches to improving play skills for children with disabilities. Thus, the article crucially offers insight on play-based learning for those with disabilities and also gives researched recommendations on how to teach playing skills in such situations. The researcher utilizes over 30 peer-reviewed sources to guide the research process and offer up-to-date information concerning play and learning for disabled children in the literature review area. Consequently, the work receives backing from tens of credible sources, enhancing its reliability. The article stresses the role of play in developing children, especially the disabled, making the need for such research very critical for teachers and parents. Some such cited benefits include enhanced communication and social skills, better mental and physical health for improved relationships, and facilitating independent participation (Movahedazarhouligh, 2018, p. 587).
Apart from also highlighting the effects of lack of play on disabled children, the paper also importantly provides a raft of play definitions to guide the teachers utilizing the material in their teaching endeavors. The writer articulates the features of play and their parameters clearly. Moreover, the piece informs the reader of some potential challenges children with disabilities usually experience during play. Teachers need to understand that some of the mentioned obstacles include mobility problems, communication challenges, and reduced play behaviors. Such information proves critical for the teacher seeking to employ the interventions proposed therein.
One of the play interventions in the piece is environmental interventions. For example, according to the author, learners with disabilities interact more with their peers when the play area is relatively small or with limited toys. The environmental interactions enable teachers to manipulate play areas to enhance play among children, which is a valuable idea. Furthermore, the sections highlight the interventions as applicable/ effective for various age groups, such as infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers (Movahedazarhouligh, 2018, p. 589). Also, the piece highlights numerous social and physical arrangements available for teachers in the endeavor, including applying social stories, effectively grouping children, selecting appropriate play materials, and adult facilitation. The researcher mentions how each of these is achievable, hence offering a rich source of empirical data.
The research work further discusses how peer implemented interventions can enhance social interactions among disabled children and their peers with or without disabilities. These approaches critically assist the teacher in initiating, reinforcing, and prompting social interactions with peers much better. For example, some strategies for starting play discussed therein include specific words, vocalizations, and gestures. The researcher also advances the benefits of playdates in enhancing freedom. Playdates refer to scheduled periods for the children to interact with others in both structured and unstructured ways.
As per the literature review, children with disabilities take much longer to become familiar with toys. Hence, the researcher recommends necessary arrangements for play materials that allow the children to interact with play material until they completely master them. The paper also highlights the value of implementing assistive technology services and devices to improve, maintain, or increase the functional capabilities of those with disabilities (Movahedazarhouligh, 2018, p. 592). The piece also details modeling and prompting interventions that enhance play behaviors in children with disabilities, such as videos. The article also provides details on errorless prompting, encouraging hierarchy, and time-delay prompting. Other notable intervention approaches highlighted in the information-rich piece are discrete trial training, pivotal response training, reciprocal imitation training, DIR floor-time, and playbooks and play scripts.
The article is fundamental in shaping teaching practices concerning children with disabilities. It critically offers evidence-based approaches to improving play in such learners and enhancing the quality of their lives. The interventions listed are practical and effective, as per the reviewed sources and conducted studies. Moreover, the writer concludes by giving intervention implementation guidelines, which offer helpful tips on implementing the various approaches discussed and achieving excellent outcomes. The paper discusses the benefits of play in early childhood and summarizes practical interventions and how to implement them in the teaching setting. The article is recent and gives updated data on issues concerning education for disabled children. The proposals highlighted are current and valuable for today’s practice. As such, utilizing the interventions, as stipulated in the application guidelines, can go a long way in shaping teaching practice for children with disabilities. For instance, the environmental interventions will help determine how to arrange classrooms for better effect.
Movahedazarhouligh, S. (2018). Teaching Play Skills to Children with Disabilities: Research-Based Interventions and Practices. Early Childhood Education Journal, 46(6), 587-599. Web.