There’s a saying you often hear when talking with people about autism spectrum disorder, or ASD: If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. In other words, everybody’s different. So when it comes to designing for people with ASD, “There’s not really a one-size-fits-all approach,” says Kristi Gaines, a professor in the department of design at Texas Tech University and coauthor of Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
In the United States, 1 in 54 children has been diagnosed with ASD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Given the numbers, it’s likely that architects and designers will increasingly be asked to create spaces for clients with children who are on the spectrum. And while much is known about designing for people with physical differences, there’s far less awareness about how to design for those with ASD and sensory processing issues.
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