Feeding Baby Doll

Video Summary

The following clip demonstates the ease with which a typically developing child engages in pretend play with the examiner, feeding the baby doll after only a subtle cue: "The baby is hungry." By comparision, Tommy, a child with autism, struggles with the activity, requiring extensive effort from the examiner before he feeds the baby doll. Further, his understanding of the pretend play even after this action is completed is unclear. Commentary is provided by Dr. Christopher Smith.

" ...this type of flexible spontaneous incorporation of imagination into play is what we would expect to see from a typically developing child. And play at this level of complexity would be absent from an individual with autism or suspected of having autism."
— Christopher Smith, PhD

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