Facilitating play and social interaction between children with visual impairments and sighted peers by means of augmented toys
SourceJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 32, 1, (2020), pp. 93-111
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
SubjectLearning and Plasticity; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Children with visual impairments (VIs) in mainstream education often experience social participation difficulties during peer play with sighted children. It was investigated whether augmented toys were effective to facilitate peer play and social interaction in 18 dyads of children with VIs and their sighted classmates. Eighteen children aged 4-to-11 with a visual impairment (mean age = 7.46, SD = 2.19) and eighteen sighted classmates (mean age = 7.56, SD = 2.08) played with an augmented and with a non-augmented toy, using a counterbalanced crossover repeated measures design. A Playmobil® knight’s castle was augmented with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, such that each play figure produced audio feedback during play. Video fragments were coded for social and cognitive aspects of play and peer directed interaction behaviors. Data were analyzed using multilevel logistic regression. Children showed more parallel play and object exploration, but less cooperative play when they repeatedly used the augmented castle compared to the non-augmented castle. Social interaction behaviors did not differ as a function of play condition. No differences were found between the play or interaction behaviors of children with VIs and sighted classmates. The addition of sounds to physical toys increased shared attention between children with VIs and sighted classmates, yet interfered with cooperative peer play.
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