2-1 | A Second Look at the Play of Young Children with Disabilities

Article

A Second Look at the Play of Young Children with Disabilities

Michelle Buchanan and Tricia Giovacco Johnson

Abstract:

The authors investigate the nature of child play for young children with disabilities using two different research models—the traditional psychoeducational research paradigm and the more recent interdisciplinary approach of the childhood studies paradigm. They base their discussion on a research study of toddlers with disabilities, and they review the history of the scholarship on the issue. In considering such matters as voice, agency, identity, and equity, which are typically concerns of the more recent paradigm, they find that the need young children with disabilities have for all kinds of play has been misrepresented by the more traditional approach. In fact, when viewed from the perspective of childhood studies, play appears to be as necessary to the quality of daily life for young children with disabilities as it does for all young children. The authors advocate the same right to play for children with disabilities granted to other children by society in general, a right acknowledged and codified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.