Developing Inclusive Playgrounds That Welcome All Children—Including Those with Autism

Kayla Harris, Paige Rosinski, Jeanneane Wood-Nartker, Rebecca Hill Renirie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Playgrounds are crucial spaces where children can develop within their formative years. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) require additional support that caters to their sensory and social needs. A systematic literature review identified design characteristics to transform a play space into an environment where physical, social, and personal growth for children of varying abilities is encouraged. To model these recommendations, an examination of a playground was conducted with suggestions adapted to develop an accessible play environment. Results showed that there is a need for outdoor play spaces that engage children in building and maintaining relationships with peers. Providing equitable access to play allows people to come together due to a shared need for connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReview Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Accessible
  • Autism
  • Hidden disabilities
  • Inclusive design
  • Playground
  • Schoolyards


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