Children’s play is a principal site for the construction of disability, and this is particularly the case for autistic children. Investigation of children’s own perspectives in play provides information about the interests, concerns and meanings that are being produced in play and provides insight into what is valuable in children’s play and children’s skills as players. Autobiographies produced by autistic writers often include descriptions of enjoyable leisure activities and playful encounters with others the writer experienced as a child. Using thematic analysis, this study identifies patterns of experience in autistic autobiographies in relation to childhood play and friendship. Strongly sensory experiences of play, forms of pretending that involve orderly and predictable representations of real life, vividly remembered details of external sources and particular ways of interacting with playmates were found to be shared features of autistic play cultures.
- autistic play cultures
- social model of childhood disability
- children's perspectives