Image: Doctor Tom ChauImage: Child playing

Bloorview Research Institute

Scientist Profiles: Featured Article Summary

“Stability of Playfulness Across Environmental Settings: A Pilot Study”

Patricia Rigby & Sandy Gaik

When you’re a child, playing is your job. It’s how you learn social, psychological and emotional skills that help you function in society. However, children with physical impairments often face barriers to play. Bloorview researcher Patty Rigby wanted to know how the environment influences the level of playfulness of children with cerebral palsy. So she videotaped 16 children with cerebral palsy at school, at home and in the community. Patty found that most children were playful in at least one environment -- usually at home where the setting was familiar and less restrictive. In contrast, the school and community settings posed challenges to play such as physical inaccessibility in the schoolyard and the discriminating attitudes of peers. Given that children with cerebral palsy have the potential to participate actively in play, the researchers encourage therapists to find ways to eliminate environmental barriers and to create places and opportunities that support the play and playfulness of children with cerebral palsy.




  • Family Corner
  • Youth Corner
  • Kids Corner