Verbal Interactional Synchronization between Therapist and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder during Dolphin Assisted Therapy: Five Case Studies

Richard Griffioen*, Steffie van der Steen, Ralph F.A. Cox, Theo Verheggen, Marie-Jose Enders - Slegers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Synchronizing behaviors in interactions, such as during turn-taking, are often impaired in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Therapies that focus on turn-taking generally lead to increased social skills, less interruptions, and silent pauses, however a positive non-demanding environment is therefore thought to be beneficial. Such an environment can be achieved by incorporating animals into therapy. Our study was guided by the following research questions: (1) How can we characterize the interaction between child and therapist during dolphin-assisted therapy, with regard to synchrony in verbalizations (turn-taking) and (2) does synchrony change over the course of six sessions of therapy? To answer these questions, we performed a cross-recurrence quantification analysis on behavioral data of five children, to give a detailed view of the interaction between therapist and child in the context of dolphin-assisted therapy. We were able to detect synchrony (i.e., adequate turn-taking) in all dyads, although not all children improved equally. The differences might be explained by a delayed reaction time of some children, and their level of language development
Original languageEnglish
Article number716
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAnimals
Volume9
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2019

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Dolphins
dolphins
case studies
therapeutics
Therapeutics
therapy animals
language development
Language Development
Reaction Time
autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Recurrence
Research

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title = "Verbal Interactional Synchronization between Therapist and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder during Dolphin Assisted Therapy: Five Case Studies",
abstract = "Synchronizing behaviors in interactions, such as during turn-taking, are often impaired in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Therapies that focus on turn-taking generally lead to increased social skills, less interruptions, and silent pauses, however a positive non-demanding environment is therefore thought to be beneficial. Such an environment can be achieved by incorporating animals into therapy. Our study was guided by the following research questions: (1) How can we characterize the interaction between child and therapist during dolphin-assisted therapy, with regard to synchrony in verbalizations (turn-taking) and (2) does synchrony change over the course of six sessions of therapy? To answer these questions, we performed a cross-recurrence quantification analysis on behavioral data of five children, to give a detailed view of the interaction between therapist and child in the context of dolphin-assisted therapy. We were able to detect synchrony (i.e., adequate turn-taking) in all dyads, although not all children improved equally. The differences might be explained by a delayed reaction time of some children, and their level of language development",
author = "Richard Griffioen and {van der Steen}, Steffie and Cox, {Ralph F.A.} and Theo Verheggen and {Enders - Slegers}, Marie-Jose",
year = "2019",
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doi = "10.3390/ani9100716",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "1--15",
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publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
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Verbal Interactional Synchronization between Therapist and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder during Dolphin Assisted Therapy : Five Case Studies. / Griffioen, Richard; van der Steen, Steffie; Cox, Ralph F.A.; Verheggen, Theo; Enders - Slegers, Marie-Jose.

In: Animals, Vol. 9, No. 10, 716, 24.09.2019, p. 1-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Verheggen, Theo

AU - Enders - Slegers, Marie-Jose

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AB - Synchronizing behaviors in interactions, such as during turn-taking, are often impaired in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Therapies that focus on turn-taking generally lead to increased social skills, less interruptions, and silent pauses, however a positive non-demanding environment is therefore thought to be beneficial. Such an environment can be achieved by incorporating animals into therapy. Our study was guided by the following research questions: (1) How can we characterize the interaction between child and therapist during dolphin-assisted therapy, with regard to synchrony in verbalizations (turn-taking) and (2) does synchrony change over the course of six sessions of therapy? To answer these questions, we performed a cross-recurrence quantification analysis on behavioral data of five children, to give a detailed view of the interaction between therapist and child in the context of dolphin-assisted therapy. We were able to detect synchrony (i.e., adequate turn-taking) in all dyads, although not all children improved equally. The differences might be explained by a delayed reaction time of some children, and their level of language development

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