The effect of activity type on the engagement and interaction of young children with disabilities in inclusive childcare settings

Coral Kemp*, Yuriko Kishida, Mark Carter, Naomi Sweller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The engagement and adult and peer interaction of 37 young children with a range of disabilities was measured in free play, group, and meal-routine activities in inclusive childcare settings. A significant effect for activity type was found for total engagement, active engagement, and passive engagement, with the children being more engaged in free-play and meal-routine activities than group activities. Free-play and meal-routine activities provided better opportunities for active engagement than did group activities, but children were more actively engaged during meal-routine activities than during free play. Passive engagement was more commonly observed during group activities. Children interacted more with their peers during free play. When children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder were compared with children with other disabilities, they were found to be significantly less engaged during free play and interacted less with their peers. The implications of these findings for inclusive practice in childcare settings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-143
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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