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Using Live-Action Role-Playing Adapted Activities for ASD Toddlers

by Hawke Robinson published Nov 11, 2016 11:10 AM, last modified Feb 07, 2023 08:46 AM

This program plan was implemented in a single trial with ASD toddlers and their neurologically normal peer group.

Program plan development and implementation previewed, monitored, and reviewed by program members, volunteers, classmates, and Professor Emily Messina, Director of the Therapeutic Recreation Department for Eastern Washington University. The LARP program run simultaneously in parallel to several other activity programs created by other groups, in a large gym/dance-hall. Participants rotated from group-to-group every 15 minutes. While participants lost focus/interest in all the non-LARP activities within an average of 5 minutes (indicated typical by the ASD program's representatives), when the participants engaged in the LARP-adapted activities other results were immediately observed and comment upon by the ASD program representatives.

Immediately observed results during program implementation:

Noted immediate reduction in presentation of significant stereotypical behaviours (hand-flapping, fixation, distraction, lack of response/interaction to/with others, etc.) during the activities using RPG-based activities compared to those activities without

Better positive experiences with cooperative engagement using RPG-based activities than those without

Better success rates at completing all tasks cooperatively with RPG approach compared to non-RPG activities (all but one participant completed all tasks successfully, and all maintained attention and focus for full duration of a 15 minute session rotation, compared to average of only 5 minutes for all the other groups running non-RPG-related activities.

Noted improvement in interaction and communication with other participants when using the RPG-related adapted activities than those without.

Better response and success rates in complying with instructions to correctly complete multi-staged activities.