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Title: Providing play opportunities for children, who are identified as having severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties, to facilitate social play between them : two case studies
Author: Yates, R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 0573
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Children who are identified as having severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties (S/PMLD) are reported to find it difficult to engage in social play, yet there is a paucity of research which examines how these children can be supported to participate in this important activity. Underpinned by a Vygotskian framework, the first aim of this study was to provide adult-supported, structured play sessions for two pairs of children, each pair consisting of a child who is identified as having SLD and a child who is identified as having PMLD, with the intention of facilitating social play between them. The second aim was to analyse the role of the adult within the play sessions and the third aim was to explore the benefits and challenges of the play sessions as perceived by the adult facilitators. The study used a multiple case study design with a mixed methods approach to the case studies. The findings demonstrate that within the play sessions, the children engaged in social play. The children identified as having SLD displayed a range of peer tutoring behaviours to encourage their partner, identified as having PMLD, to play. The adult support within the play sessions was dynamic and fluid in nature, and ranged from allowing children to have opportunities to spontaneously engage in social play to exerting a stronger influence and giving direct instructions. Perceived benefits of the play sessions, as articulated by the adult facilitators, included providing children with varied opportunities, allowing children to be autonomous and informing future practice. Perceived challenges that were identified by the adult facilitators focused on environmental barriers and the impact of the researcher on the conduct of the play sessions. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to their application to the practice of Educational Psychologists and future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available