This article describes a pilot study for a play-based intervention designed to support the development of social competence of youths with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that includes play with the video game, Mine craft. Four boys with ASD, ages 11–13, participated in play with the video game during 8 1-hr sessions with a typically developing peer and 2 adults during structured play (role-based objective play) and free play (no roles or objectives) with video modeling, adult facilitation, and mediation from a typically developing peer. High rates of initiations were maintained during structured play; the quality of social play started as weak during free play but improved by the later sessions. Implications of the results for practitioners and researchers are discussed.
Describe how video-game play can be utilized to create structured and free play social interventions.
Understand some of the difficulties faced by program designers when creating social competence programs and interventions for youth with ASD.
Analyze the play behaviors of youth with ASD as they use problem solving strategies to cooperate on shared tasks.