Support for Autistic People (05-16-19)

Mostafa has written a classic article on how design can support the wellbeing of people on the autism spectrum; it is available without charge at the web address noted below. Mostafa’s text focuses on the post-occupancy evaluation of a pre-K-8thgrade school, but the insights shared are applicable in a much wider range of space types.  Mostafa recommends, for example that “provisions should be made for different levels of acoustical control in various rooms, so students can ‘graduate’ from one level of acoustical control to the next, slowly moving towards a typical environment. . . . Spaces should flow . . . through one-way circulation whenever possible. . . . .the presence of transition zones helps the user recalibrate their senses. . . . Such zones can take on a variety of forms and may be anything from a distinct node that indicates a shift in circulation to a full sensory room that allows the user to re-calibrate their sensory stimulation level. . . . Specifying robust materials, safety fittings to protect from hot water, detailing fixtures to avoid small removable parts or hanging strings and an avoidance of sharp edges and corners are examples of some of the considerations that may reduce [safety] risks.”

Magda Mostafa. 2018.  “Designing for Autism:  An ASPECTSS ™ Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Learning Environments.”  International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 308-326,