Post 2: Environmental Design for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Getting to know the People

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
Interesting snippets from Autism Research:
Overall, the children who participated in this study sought out play experiences with which they were familiar in their natural environments. Specifically, they sought out experiences that afforded them the opportunity to exercise control over their environment and create a sense of predictability. Each of the children assumed the role of “orchestrator” and conducted his or her engagement in play occupations. The children demonstrated some spontaneous play within their social environment; however, many developmentally age-appropriate behaviors were not observed.  (Greenspan and Wieder (1997)

Blanski: Research has shown that these (autistic) children are overstimulated by bright primary colors. Earth tones, however, such as browns and taupe, they find soothing. We also incorporated furniture fabrics without patterns, because these children tend to fixate on patterns and start counting.

As there is no single prototype that works best for the vast spectrum of adults with ASDs, the optimal approach is to have a range of residential options available within communities and to work with individuals to find which best suits them. (Full Spectrum Housing Report)

Statements from people on the autism spectrum:
The inability to get consistent meaning through my senses meant I developed an ability to respond not to meaning but to patterns. Donna Williams
Many descriptions of autism and Asperger’s describe people like me as “not wanting contact with others” or “preferring to play alone” ... but I’d like to be very clear about my own feelings: I did not ever want to be alone.
I played by myself because I was a failure at playing with others. I was alone as a result of my own limitations, and being alone was one of the bitterest disappointments of my young life. John Elder Robison

People are always looking for the single magic bullet that will totally change everything. There is no single magic bullet. Temple Grandin

Our brains are wired differently. We take in many sounds and conversations at once. I take over a thousand pictures of a person’s face when I look at them. That’s why we have a hard time looking at people.  Carly Fleishmann
... the research, the grant money, the treatments [are] relentlessly toward the children..... For adult autistics, much is just as it was 50 years ago. State institutions for the developmentally disabled. Group homes run by those of varying qualifications. Living at home with aging parents. Karl Taro Greenfield

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