Spaces Matters: Classroom Acoustics and Repetitive Behaviors in Preschool Children with Autism
Autism has generally been ignored by the interior design community and excluded from building codes and guidelines, even those developed explicitly for special needs individuals. This research will look into how interior design factors affect individuals with autism; specifically with regards to acoustics. Today’s world has put much emphasis and consideration towards the diversity of individuals and their developmental and psycho-social disorders, yet research has not been thorough in this topic; thus, this article presents a further step when considering development. Therefore, one of the primary aims of this research is to correct this exclusion by developing a preliminary framework of interior design guidelines for autism. To reach this goal of developing a framework for architectural guidelines for autism, an extensive literature review was conducted and a behavioral observation took place. Four classrooms were identified in two schools (two rooms in each school) based on their noise levels and behaviors were recorded from 42 participants. Research results indicate that environment is important to the treatment of autism because it influences behavior. A significant positive correlation between noise levels and frequency of target behaviors was found; that is, as decibel levels increased, several of the observed behaviors occurred with greater frequency. This research gives practical solutions that architects and designers can use to modify the environment for children with autism. Developed and expounded by the author in two previous studies (Kanakri, et al. “An Observational Study of Classroom Acoustical Design and Repetitive Behaviors in Children With Autism,” Sage Publications, pp. 1-27, 2016) and (Kanakri, S. M., The Impact of Acoustical Environmental Design on Children with Autism. 2014), these analyses lay the groundwork for this article’s research which provides tangible modifications to help these children develop their skills, cope with auditory problems and improve their behaviors.
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Spaces Matters: Classroom Acoustics and Repetitive Behaviors in Preschool Children with Autism, American Journal of Pediatrics.
Vol. 3, No. 6,
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