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There is no Evidence to Confirm the Benefits of Attendance at a Special Needs Playgroup.

Prepared by:

Diana Barnett
Email address: dianab@chw.edu.au
Occupational Therapist,
The Children's Hospital Westmead


November 2005

Review Date:

November 2007

Clinical Question:

 What is the evidence to support the attendance at a special needs playgroup by children (aged 0-5) with special needs and their parents to improve the social interaction and/or other developmental skills of the children and provide social support for their parents?

Clinical Scenario:

 Attendance at special needs play group is often recommended to the parents of children with special needs aged around 18 months to 4 years.  The aim of such groups is to provide experience socialising with peers and experience with a range of activities in a structured environment.  Parents attend and are part of the group.  Some services are now limiting therapy to either individual attendance or playgroup attendance.  As therapists we therefore need to know whether attendance at a playgroup is beneficial

Clinical Bottom Line:


No conclusion could be drawn due to lack of evidence.


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