Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Winner of the 2017 IDEC Book Award, 2017 EDRA Great Places Award (Book Category), 2017 American Society of Interior Designers Joel Polsky Prize and the 2016 International Interior Design Association TXOK Research Award

Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders explains the influence of the natural and man-made environment on individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other forms of intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). Drawing on the latest research in the fields of environmental psychology and education, the authors show you how architecture and interior spaces can positively influence individuals with neurodiversities by modifying factors such as color, lighting, space organization, textures, acoustics, and ventilation. Now you can design homes, therapeutic environments, work environments, and outdoor spaces to encourage growth and learning for the projected 500,000 children with ASD (in the United States alone) who are expected to reach adulthood by 2024.

Topics discussed include:
-Environmental design theories
-Symptoms of ASD
-Sensory processing deficits
-Design needs of individuals on the spectrum at all ages
-Design methods and solutions for spaces, including residential, learning, work, and therapeutic environments encompassing a wide range of budgets
-Designing for self-actualization, well-being, and a high quality of life for the duration of an individual's life
-Avenues for healthy living and aging in place
-Biophilic design
-Environmental impact on well-being
-Strategies to promote active living as an integral part of the welfare focus.


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Illustration credits
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders ASD
HumanEnvironment Interaction
Perception Cognition and Sensation
Learning Environments
Home Environments
Work Environments
Therapeutic Environments

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About the author (2016)

Kristi Gaines is the Director of the Graduate Programs in Interior and Environmental Design at Texas Tech University. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Design with collaterals in architecture and special education. Dr. Gaines has a combined 20 years of professional interior design and teaching experience.

Angela Bourne is an Interior Designer and Educator at Fanshawe College in Canada. Over her 30 plus years in the profession, she has kept current by regularly practicing interior design and most recently combined her PhD research in Environmental Design with her practice to form her holistic company, "Nero-Considerate Environments."

Michelle Pearson is an Assistant Professor in the Interior Design Program at Texas Tech University. She received her PhD in Interior and Environmental Design. Her research focuses on built environments that promote health and wellness in children.

Mesha Kleibrink graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Interior Design and Master of Science in Environmental Design. She is an associate member of IIDA and currently works as an interior designer and analyst at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.