The Ready-Steady-Make booklet is a quick reference guide that provides easy step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to make six sensory props; which shows you how you can make sense for just a few pence!

Launched in October 2011, the Sense-Able design project brought together the autism charity the Kingwood Trust and the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art in a research partnership that was a holistic and design-led approach to the sensory preferences of adults with autism in residential accommodation.

Ready-Steady-Make is a creative workshop that was carried out for family members of adults with autism and for staff of service poviders, which supports the development of skills in; mapping sensory preferences, creating sensory props that will help to develop skills in motor movement, communication and socialisation. Making more changes in the home that will make it a more stimulating and relaxing place to live.

In response to the success of the workshop, the Ready-Steady-Make booklet was developed to provide a quick reference guide to making six sensory props.

The key message for people attending the Ready-Steady-Make workshop and reading the booklet is that the right home environment- one that has been adapted and furnished with sensitivity to people's sensory perceptual differences- can minimise triggers of stress and anxiety. Additionally, through appropriate stmulation, an adult may be given opportunities to develop skills and learn more about themselves and the world around them.

The sensory props shown in this booklet are from a larger collection of occupational playthings, which were created as responses to the sensory needs and preferences of a cohort of adult with autism.

View Ready, Steady, Make here

For more information on this study or housing design for adults with autism, please visit our websites

We encourage you to discover your own sensory preferences as well as those of your family, friends and people you support and think about how you would create sensory props, activities or make changes in the home to improve your and their wellbeing.

For more information about autism and sensory differences, we recommend the following reading list. If you would like to speak with someone about these subjects, we encourage you to contact an Occupational Therapist.

Reading list:

Brand, A., Living in the Community, Housing Design for Adults with Autism, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, The Royal College of Art, 2010

Bogdashina, O., Sensory perceptual issues in autism: Different sensory experiences: Different perceptual worlds. London: Jessica Kingsley Pubishers, 2003

Bogdashina, O., Autism and the Edges of the Known World Sensitivities, Language and Constructed Reality. London: Jessica Kingsley Pubishers, 2010

Bundy, A.C., Lane, S.J., Murray, E.A., Sensory integration: theory and practice. (2nd ed.) Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 2002

Dunn, W., Living sensationally: understanding your senses. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2009

Fowler, S., Multisensory rooms and environments. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008

Fowler, S., Sensory Stimulation. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1997

Verheul, A., Snoezelen materials homemade.  Ede: Ad Verheul, 2007


Author: Andrew Brand, Katie Gaudion - Research Associates, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, The Royal College of Art

Date added: 12th March 2012