Date: August 2014
Creator: Ware, Jenifer N.
Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on the social competence, empathy, and self-regulation of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The constructs of social competence, empathy, and self-regulation were measured using the Social-Emotional Assets Rating Scale (SEARS). This study utilized a single-case design; the researcher collected data throughout the duration of the study, including baseline, treatment, and follow-up phases. The sample included 5 children ranging from ages 6 to 8 years old: 3 Caucasian males, 1 African-American female, and 1 Latin-American female. Mothers of the participants completed the parent form of the SEARS once per week throughout all phases of the study. During the treatment phase of the study, the children participated in CCPT approximately 2 times per week for 30 minutes each time. Visual analysis of the data indicated play therapy was beneficial for three participants, as they demonstrated improvements in social competence, empathy, and self-regulation. Two participants responded to the intervention with mixed results. Discussion includes implications for clinical practice and future research as well as limitations of the study.
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