Articles

Simple Design Strategies for Peaceful Living with your ASD Child

Many tools exist to turn a house into a safe, child-proof home. But beyond safety, other challenges exist when it comes to parents and siblings sharing space with a child on the autism spectrum. As an architect, and the mother of a son with autism, I’ve combined my experience to develop creative yet simple design ideas that help reduce conflict between children with ASD and their family members. If you are designing a brand new home, or considering a renovation, aside from implementing ADA strategies such as wider door openings, here’s a list of items to consider as you design building plans.

  • Increase the floor area in tradition-ally tight spaces to allow family members to move throughout the house while allowing children with autism to avoid “forced touching” or feeling like ….

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Creating Successful Opportunities in School and at Home for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders − the Smallest Details Make the Biggest Difference

Probably the biggest change we experienced as a family with a special needs son was puberty. With puberty and adolescence came more passive-aggressive behaviors. With age came strength. Now, put the two together, and you have more aggression, whether shown through self-harm or harm to others. The second change involved intentional manipulation of behaviors or reactions but seemingly without any rational thinking. In other words, our son believed if he punched the wall, it would create enough threat that he would maybe win something even though he did not realize that he was losing the battle.

Purposeful Architecture


Designs create nurturing environments for special needs

Purpose— goal, reason, idea, principle. At the age of 12, I knew I wanted to be an architect. By the time I was a teenager, I knew I would adopt a child. And by my late thirties, having accomplished both goals, I discovered a new aim: to design buildings and spaces for individuals with special needs. Thus, Purposeful Architecture was born.

Traveling, Trips, and Dining Out with Our ASD Child: One Mother’s View

Fifteen years ago, we adopted Matthew, our son with special needs from Russia. He was 3 at the time. I never imagined that I would learn so much in such a short period of time. Being an architect, I tend to constantly focus on environmental issues and spatial strategies that support the success of our three children living together. Why would this be an issue? Well, our high-functioning ASD son can struggle with good choices, and during the bad choices, he can cause incredible frustration for our younger children, resulting in enormous conflict. At times, this conflict has been life-threatening. Not always, mind you, but often – especially during his pubescent years.

Starting from the early years, our two younger children continuously experienced invasion of their personal space or trespassing in ….

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Alternative Learning Spaces

Alternative learning spaces: What is music therapy? Music therapy is a multi-sensory experience whereby music is used for therapeutic results. A student visually connects with the shiny, brightly colored instruments; he or she hears a sound of the music; he or she experiences a feeling of holding the instrument; and he or she feels the vibration or movement of the instrument. It has been determined that music can influence a student’s behavior by affecting the brain through sound and thereby impact other bodily structures. These effects are visible, identifiable and measurable, and are the basis for music therapy. The full article is available on School Planning and Management.