Object-centered family interactions for young autistic children: a diary study

Yuqi Hu, Xu Sun, Cheng Yao, Shijian Luo, Bingjian Liu, Mengru Xue, Hui Lyu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Autistic Children often struggle with social interaction and communication, studies have found that many of them prefer to interact with objects than people. However, there is a lack of research exploring the specific characteristics and factors involved in interactions within families with autistic children where objects are the center of the interaction. This paper describes the process and findings of a diary study exploring how young autistic children interact with their families through objects in natural scenarios. A one-week diary study was conducted with six families with young autistic children. Diary videos were recorded onsite and coded later according to a social interaction behavior scheme with corresponding diary entries. Qualitative data analysis was conducted to reveal possible patterns. Results revealed ongoing difficulties in establishing and maintaining family interaction and identified influential factors of object-centered family interaction. The most prevalent pattern observed was parents taking the lead in interactions, followed by the child's confirmation response. Remarkably, daily necessities emerged as potential physical mediums for enhancing family interactions, opening avenues for exploring tangible designs in human–computer interaction. These findings offer valuable implications for future research and the development of innovative designs that promote enriching interactions for autistic children and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5460
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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