Prevalence of disabilities in Pakistan is 2.4 % (3.2 million), with 7 % population suffering from hearing impairments. This study focuses on many aspects of development including physical development, which have never been studied exclusively in developing countries. This pilot study was aimed to explore play pattern of children with hearing & speech impairments in school settings, Karachi, Pakistan. In this article play behaviors of 53 children with sensory impairments aged 8-12 years were explored. Observations were recorded through semi-structured checklist, using norm-based time sampling procedure, recording various types of behavior in a group play context. Three major play categories were observed and recorded under: a) Social Play; proximity and attentiveness b) Cognitive Play; level of child’s involvement and purpose for engaging in the activity c) Non- Play; marked by absence of focus. Frequently observed play behavior was; group play under cognitive play; games with rules and functional play behavior; engagement of child in physical activities for the enjoyment of physical sensation and in non-play behavior active conversation, rough and tumble play, recorded. Study findings reveal the importance of play as an essential component for healthy child development. Dire need of capacity building of school staff and of caregivers regarding child development and importance of play was felt at larger scale.


Child’s Play, Sensory Impairments, Play Pattern, Special Schools, Play Settings, Naturalistic Observation

Author Bio(s)

Arisha Qayyum have been affiliated with The Aga Khan University-Human Development Programme as a Research Officer. She is a clinical Psychologist holds M.A and Post Magisterial Diploma in Clinical Psychology (PMDC) from the Institute of Professional Psychology, affiliated with Bahria University Karachi campus. Her main area of interest for research is in childhood disabilities, learning disabilities and child assessment techniques. Correspondence regarding this article can be directly addressed to Arisha Qayyum at Email: arisha.qayyum@gmail.com

Ayesha Zahid Khan Msc Home-Economics, Practicing Nutritionist since 1987, presently working as Senior Research Officer- Nutrition with the Human Development Programme of Aga Khan University. Involved in community based nutrition research. Developing and implementing nutrition related interventions.

Rizwan Ali Rais, M.Sc. Statistics, working in the capacity of Data Analyst with The Aga Khan University – Human Development Programme, Karachi. His area of interest revolved in and around different issues related to the designing, analyzing and implementation of different research project related to early childhood period.

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