Playground Designed to Help Children with Autism Build Social Skills

New playground at Maryland’s The Shafer Center features equipment designed to encourage interactions

July 28, 2014

(July 28, 2014) – The Shafer Center, a school for children with autism ages 2-8, in Owings Mills, Md., opened a new playground designed specifically for children with autism. Such playgrounds are becoming more common around the country.

Kristen DeBoy, an applied behavioral analysis therapist at the Shafer Center, told The Baltmore Sun, “A lot of pieces on the playground require more than one person. It sparked social interaction.”
Luke Kalb, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, told the Sun
that playgrounds can be therapeutic because they present the appropriate level of physical challenge, support imaginative play and help children structure their movements, but that more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of playgrounds.

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