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Designing everyday activities: Living environments for autistic adults

This is the fourth in a series of research-based books exploring the interaction of design, the environment and the sensory perceptions of adults with autism.

This book focuses on everyday activities in the home. Katie Gaudion’s in-depth research, undertaken in collaboration with the Kingwood Trust’s support staff, investigates both the challenges and opportunities inherent in daily tasks and their related objects for those with atypical sensory sensitivities. By proposing strategies to identify incentives and disincentives for each individual – and suggesting some modifications to familiar designs – this publication shows how daunting tasks may be transformed into enjoyable activities or even valuable educational experiences for adults with autism.

The project has three main outputs:

1. Visual profiling tools that help both adults with autism and their support staff to identify, express and observe preferred home activities.

2. Prototypes and a design guide to illustrate how people can be motivated to become more actively engaged with their own homes by extending and correlating their sensory preferences and special interests; and embracing the way they like to do things. These guidelines will also provide ideas on how to re-design everyday objects and offer advice on purchasing such objects with reference to how well they might meet the needs and interests of people with autism.  

3. Two staff development workshops for support staff entitled 'Ready Steady Make' and 'Doing Things With Things Differently'. These workshops promote the development of skills and the exchange of experiences among support staff. The sessions also explore how adults with autism might perceive their surroundings, so leading to participants generating helpful ideas related to the growth and development of the people they support.

You can download and read the full book here

Author: Katie Gaudion:  Helen Hamlyn Centre of Design at the Royal College of Art.

In association with - The Kingwood Trust

Date added: 24th October 2013