Nov 16, 2018, KTTZ FM, Lubbock, TX: Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders http://www.kttz.org/post/designing-autism-spectrum-disorders#stream/0 When Kristi Gaines began her doctoral work at Texas Tech 15 years ago, she found a dearth of research on how to design spaces for those on the autism spectrum. "I was interested in the topic. I had seen a lot of children with autism and I knew that the environment could impact their behavior," she explains. "I could see that they were over stimulated at times, but they can also be under stimulated by the environment. There wasn't really much research out there. So, I decided to come back and pursue a phd. I had to choose a research topic and it was immediate I knew what I wanted to study. I didn't even have to give it much thought." That in turn led Gaines, now a Texas Tech associate professor of interior and environmental design and associate dean of the university’s graduate school, to collaborate with other researchers at Tech and some in other countries to formulate best practices for designing spaces for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. That spectrum includes autism, Asberger’s syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder. The result is “Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Gaines said the book was much needed and there was little to build on because the field was so new. … The book aims to help individuals and family members of those with the disorder, educators, healthcare providers and others. Published in 2016, the information can be utilized in a wide variety of spaces, like living and working environments, as well as recreational and educational locations. And it’s written so that non-academics can understand it…. "It's more of a foundational type of research," Gaines says. "A broad overview. There's a lot of practical recommendations, a lot of information in there to apply, but there's still a lot of research to be done. It's really exciting, that's really the purpose in doing it is getting it out there in the hands of whoever can apply the information."
top of page
Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
bottom of page