Nested: playing with autism
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Children with sensorial and cognitive disabilities have been largely ignored under the ‘universal’ design philosophy. This is clearly an oversight on the part of the design community as autism, present designers with the opportunity to take on new environmental design challenges. As research demonstrates, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are extremely disadvantaged when it comes to playing both with others and alone. As a result, children with autism have underdeveloped socializing skills and can suffer from low self-esteem, self-worth and loneliness. This practicum supposes that safe, stimulating and engaging play spaces for autistic children could not only improve their development in these areas, but enrich their lives. Furthermore, it provides background into autism, its affect on the human senses and play, supplies results of an observational study and provides an example of a play space designed to increase social interaction and accommodate sensorial needs in order to decrease isolation.