1st Edition

Children's Play, Pretense, and Story Studies in Culture, Context, and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Edited By Susan Douglas, Lesley Stirling Copyright 2016
    342 Pages
    by Routledge

    342 Pages
    by Routledge

    At the heart of this volume is the recognition that children’s engagement with play and story are intrinsically and intricately linked. The contributing authors share a passionate interest in the development and well-being of children, in particular through their use of imagination and adaptation of the everyday into play and stories. Following these principles, the volume explores the connections between play, story, and pretense with regard to many cultural and contextual factors that influence the way these elements vary in children’s lives. In a departure from earlier collections on play and story, the authors take a particular focus on normative as compared with atypical development.

    This collection begins with an approach to understanding the developmental relationship between play and story, which recognizes their similarities while acknowledging their differences. Much of the collection addresses pretend play and story in children with autism spectrum disorder, an understudied but important group for consideration, as these dimensions of their lives and development have often been considered problematic. The volume also includes sections on play and story in classroom settings and play and story across cultures, including non-English-speaking environments such as Israel, Romania, China, and Mexico. It concludes with a discussion of how play differs across sociocultural and economic contexts, making a unifying claim for the importance of play in children’s lives but also calling for an understanding of what play means to very different groups of children.

    1. Young Children’s Pretend Play and Storytelling as Modes of Narrative Activity: From Complementarity to Cross-Fertilization? Ageliki Nicolopoulou  Part 1: Pretence and Storytelling in Autism Spectrum Disorder  2. Pretend Play in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Literature Mahwish Chaudry and Cheryl Dissanayake  3. Play, Narrative, and Children With Autism Karen Stagnitti  4. Developing Reciprocity With Technology and Storytelling: The Design of an Authorable Virtual Peer for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Andrea Tartaro and Justine Cassell  5. Social Robots as Storytellers: Can A Social Robot Encourage Children With ASD To Ask Questions During Playtime? Ramona Simut, Cristina Costescu, Johan Vanderfaeillie, Daniel David and Bram Vanderborght  6. The Intersection of Pretense and Storytelling In Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Susan Douglas and Lesley Stirling  7. Dad! You Have to be…: Autism, Narrative And Family Neil Maclean  Part 2: Pretence and Storytelling in the Classroom  8. The Wrongheaded Exclusion of Imaginative Storytelling from Kindergarten Writing Instruction Patricia M. Cooper  9. The Development of Subteacher Discourse during Pretend Play in the Wake of Reading A Story Esther Vardi-Rath, Teresa Lewin, Zehava Cohen, Hadassah Aillenberg and Tamar Eylon  10. The Natural World as Content for Interconnection and Divergence of Pretence and Storytelling in Children’s Play Kumara Ward  Part 3: Pretence and Storytelling in Cross-Cultural Development  11. Using Narratives and Drawings to Assess Creativity in Preschool Age Children Candice M. Mottweiler  12. A Cultural-Historical Reading of Imagination and Creativity in Young Children’s Shared Narrative Creations across Cultural Contexts Sue March, Liang Li and Gloria Quiñones  13. Returning To Play: The Critical Location of Play in Children’s Sociocultural Lives Artin Göncü and Jennifer A. Vadeboncoeur


    Susan Douglas is a developmental linguist specializing in language acquisition in children with autism spectrum disorder. Her research interests include syntactic and semantic acquisition, narrative development, and the discourse structure of pretend play.

    Lesley Stirling is a linguist and cognitive scientist working on descriptive and typological linguistics, semantics, and discourse analysis, especially of narrative. She has been researching communication in autism for over a decade, focusing on the discourse analysis of children’s stories and play interactions.

    'This richly eclectic work draws on various perspectives to examine the dynamic interplay between pretend play and narrative and the complex issues that children on the autism spectrum encounter in these areas. The themes and viewpoints explored not only deepen our theoretical understanding, but also highlight new avenues for research and practice within diverse sociocultural contexts and an ever-changing, techno-oriented world.' – Pamela Wolfberg, Ph.D., Professor, San Francisco State University and founding director, Autism Institute on Peer Socialization and Play, www.autisminstitute.com

    'An excellent text grounded in robust research and full of rich and varied perspectives on children’s pretend play and story. I strongly recommend it to all those who are interested to know more about the unique and powerful role of pretense in human development.' – Sue Rogers, Ph.D., Professor, University College London