The contribution of dyadic teacher-child interactions to the development of children with special needs has received little research attention. This study examined whether teachers' non-intrusiveness during one-on-one playtime predicts developmental outcomes of children with developmental delay. Participants were 47 teachers and one of their kindergarteners diagnosed with developmental delay. At Time 1, teachers’ non-intrusiveness during teacher-child play interactions was assessed. At Time 1 and 12 months later, kindergarten therapists reported on children's adaptive behavior, school performance, and internalizing and externalizing problems. Teachers’ non-intrusiveness predicted children's increased adaptive behavior, improved school performance, and decreased externalizing problems across the year. Findings highlight the importance of supporting teachers’ non-intrusiveness and including one-on-one teacher-child play as an integral part of special education kindergartens’ curriculum.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Oranim College of Education . This article is based in part on master’s theses by Esther Zach and Michal Shalem Gan-Or. We express our sincere gratitude to the teachers and families who participated in this research.
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd
- Developmental delay
- Developmental outcomes
- Early childhood
- Teacher-child interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology