Date of Award


Document Status

Open Access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Shaunna Kelder


The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of occupational therapy practitioners regarding the effect play-based interventions have on cooperative behaviors in elementary school aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While occupational therapy practitioners use a variety of interventions involving play to enhance skills related to social, self-regulation and communication, the concept of how play affects cooperative behavior, specifically in children with ASD, has not been readily identified. This qualitative research project utilized an anonymous survey to collect the perceptions of occupational therapists (OT) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTA). The intent of the survey was to gain the insights of these practitioners as to the kinds of play-based interventions (sensory integration, modeling, behavioral and so forth) that are being employed with elementary school aged children and how those interventions impact cooperative behaviors. Evidenced based research is vital to developing OT treatment interventions that support the philosophy and mission of the American Occupational Therapy Organization (AOTA). It is also critical that practitioners have data, backed by research to use in practice. Based on this, more research is required to determine the role of OT in addressing cooperative play behavior in children with ASD.