Inclusion in play: a case study of a child with autism in an inclusive nursery


Fani Theodorou
School of Education
University of Southampton
SO17 1 BJ, UK.


This paper discusses the play interaction of a young child with autism and the strategies adopted by her teachers to facilitate her inclusion in and through play. The data are from an ethnographic case study in an inclusive nursery in the South of England spanning 6 months. The aim was to understand and describe the play of a child with autism in a naturalistic context. Methods included field and video observations and semi-structured interviews conducted with the parents and teachers. Analysis of the data highlighted the teachers' strategies underpinned by a strong play ethos, a collaborative approach and a supportive curriculum framework. We argue that the case provides helpful data on what teachers can do to enable children with autism to be successfully included through play.