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Designing an environment for autistic children

Based on various stages of evaluation trials, an environment to accommodate the needs of autistic children has been developed.

Digital Economy

Children who suffer from autism are marked by communication disorders, making their interaction with siblings, parents and teachers extremely challenging. MEDIATE (Multisensory Environment Design for an Interface between Autistic and Typical Expressiveness) has created an innovative means of interactivity for autistic children by combining patterns of image, sound and vibration. Recognition software has been used to distinguish between habitual and distinctive behaviours and user creations can be stored and replayed. Through a collection of detailed psychological data, taking numerous physical requirements into account and combining user interaction histories, an innovative level of immersive environment technology has been designed. Following this, a series of pan-European evaluation trials were organised and a parental discussion group was called together in Portsmouth under the coordination of the United Kingdom's National Autistic Society. Furthermore, evaluation trials were conducted in the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. In a dissemination effort, the environment was made available to those with professional and commercial interests as well as to the press. As such, more than twenty interested parties for possible future collaborative ventures have arisen. The highest level of interest came from academics, researchers, psychologists and educational administrators dealing with autism. The environment may be utilised for research purposes as well as a therapeutic/diagnostic tool.

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