Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Visual Supports to Promote Play Skills in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Facilitating play is important for the development of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and using visual supports is one strategy for teaching play skills. This study assessed the effectiveness of a visual supports intervention package consisting of: (1) a computerized visual play book and (2) a visual cue strip for improving play behaviors during dramatic play activities in 3 young children with ASD. The participants' mean percentage of play steps completed independently during baseline ranged from 6% to 16% and after implementation of the intervention ranged from 90% to 100%. The number of teaching sessions required for each child to reach criteria ranged from 4 to 8 sessions for the first toy set and 0 to 7 sessions for the second toy set. Data suggests that the visuals supports served as an organizing structure for the learning of new dramatic play sequences since learning occurred more quickly with the second toy set. Results of this study suggest that the visual supports intervention package successfully improved dramatic play behaviors of young children with ASD. These findings are consistent with a number of empirical studies that support the use of visual supports as an educational intervention for children with ASD.

Conference Name

Association of Behavior Analysis International

Conference Location

Denver, CO

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