Socio-Emotional Concern Dynamics in a Model of Real-Time Dyadic Interaction: Parent-Child Play in Autism

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Abstract

We used a validated agent-based model—Socio-Emotional CONcern DynamicS (SECONDS)—to model real-time playful interaction between a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and its parent. SECONDS provides a real-time (second-by-second) virtual environment that could be used for clinical trials and testingprocess-orientedexplanationsofASDsymptomatology.Weconductednumerical experiments with SECONDS (1) for internal model validation comparing two parental behavioral strategies for stimulating social development in ASD (play-centered vs. initiative-centered) and (2) for empirical case-based model validation. We compared 2,000 simulated play sessions of two particular dyads with (second-by-second) time-series observations within 29 play sessions of a real parent-child dyad with ASD on six variables related to maintaining and initiating play. Overall, both simulated dyads provided a better fit to the observed dyad than reference null distributions. Given the idiosyncratic behaviors expected in ASD, the observed correspondence is non-trivial. Our results demonstrate the applicability of SECONDS to parent-child dyads in ASD. In the future, SECONDS could help design interventions for parental care in ASD
Original languageEnglish
Article number1635
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16-Jul-2019

Keywords

  • YOUNG-CHILDREN
  • SYSTEMS MODEL
  • ATTENTION
  • PATTERNS
  • EMOTION
  • FUTURE
  • RISK

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