Universal Journal of Public Health Vol. 12(2), pp. 383 - 395
DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2024.120221
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Autism Spectrum Disorder: A New Fuzzy and Affective Mental Model

M. El Alami 1, S. El khabbazi 1,*, F. de Arriaga 2
1 National School of Applied Sciences of Tangier, Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Morocco
2 School of Telecommunication Engineering, Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid, Spain


Autism is defined as a group of basic behaviors, containing difficulties in social reciprocity, communication, and limitations in behavioral flexibility. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have problem in understanding the minds of others, their emotions, feelings, beliefs and thoughts. Autistic children usually go through a diagnostic process, as soon as their difficulties or problems arise. The diagnosis usually agrees with any of the existing medical and psychological recommendations; it only determines that a certain level of problems are reached, and the child must be considered autistic. However, the diagnosis does not evaluate all the problems and severities that the child presents, nor its detailed individual intensity, and as it is not usually repeated, it is not able to determine the appearance of new symptoms or deficiencies with age, nor the changes of intensity. The diagnosis also does not determine the affective states associated with these deficiencies, nor the intensity of these associations. Therefore, the aid offered to the autistic child cannot achieve greater efficiency, due to ignorance of these factors. The mental representation of autistic children or mental model, as we conceive it, contains all the deficits and tasks that they cannot perform, and their intensities; it goes further than diagnostic. So far, no autism mental model has been developed, according to our knowledge. The present article proposes a fuzzy affective mental model of autism, in correspondence to DSM-V, taking into account the child's affective states. The model contains all his/her particular deficiencies, intensities or severities, frequencies, and associated affective states. This evaluation is made according to affective computation and fuzzy logic, in order to take into account affection and uncertainty. The mental model can be obtained by means of a serious games methodology we have previously developed, and it can be obtained any time, in the form of a fuzzy cognitive map or a fuzzy graph. This mental model can be used to develop new techniques to improve learning of autistic children, and to integrate them into social life. Those improvements constitute our immediate future work.

Mental Model, Autism Model, ASD, Fuzzy Computing, Affective Computing, DSM-V

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] M. El Alami , S. El khabbazi , F. de Arriaga , "Autism Spectrum Disorder: A New Fuzzy and Affective Mental Model," Universal Journal of Public Health, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 383 - 395, 2024. DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2024.120221.

(b). APA Format:
M. El Alami , S. El khabbazi , F. de Arriaga (2024). Autism Spectrum Disorder: A New Fuzzy and Affective Mental Model. Universal Journal of Public Health, 12(2), 383 - 395. DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2024.120221.