Social and Cognitive Aspects of Play

F101Did you hear about the new character on Sesame Street? The show recently introduced Julia, a Muppet who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

CEC is proud to be among the organizations who worked with Sesame Street to develop this character, and we’re excited about Julia because not only can she validate the experiences of the 1 in 68 children who are identified with ASD, she can help to educate all children about autism. Sesame Street has put together an extensive set of resources for teaching others about autism spectrum disorder, including a storybook where Elmo and Abby Cadabby have a play date with their new friend Julia.

In honor of our newest Muppet and her friends, this week’s FREE Tool is a chart of social and cognitive aspects of play from Friendship 101. Play can help students learn important social competency such as expressing interest, understanding, and emotions with peers; joining others’ play; and participating in goal-oriented activities with their peers. Play changes in complexity over time, so when teaching students play skills, be sure to account for different social and cognitive developmental stages.


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