Ideal Autistic Environment Test

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Consult a qualified medical professional for advice and clarification.


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No matter what facility autistics live in, whether if it is an office building, home, classroom, it is rare to find an autism friendly place.

Hence, I have this test to encourage the adoption of autism friendly practices and guidelines. This very strict test is set for the ideal environment. In real life, most facilities are unlikely to pass.


Criteria for IAE Test ANS
1) No sensory disturbances

A

No high frequency sounds (e.g. CRT monitors & TV sets which emit a hum most people cannot detect)

B

Flicker free lighting including compliant computer monitors (e.g. triple phase system, halogen lamps, LED, incandescent bulbs)

C

No strong smells (e.g. deodorant, perfume, aromatherapy, air fresheners, mold)

D No irritating noise (e.g. chalk boards, grinders, electric saws)

2) No unnecessary sensory distractions

A

Noise Free (i.e. No traffic noise, no hard concrete floor which make footsteps, no loud fans)

B

Reflection Free (i.e. No glass, mirrors, shiny lamps, polished metal, marble floor etc.)

C

Comfortable texture (e.g. Things feel warm, firm and easily gripped. Recommend using soft sound absorbing concrete and rubber products. No cold hard things like exposed metal trays.)

D

No moving objects (i.e. no windows, no mirrors, door automatically closes)

E No high contrast objects (e.g. checkerboard floors, abstract artwork, colorful mugs, bright lights)
F Comfortable Room Temperature & Humidity (e.g. neither cold nor hot)
G Predictable Room Organization (e.g. group items of the same category together in ways they should be organized, items labeled)

3) Responsive Feedback System

A

Proactive collection of feedback from both autistic and non-autistic users (autistic may not complain verbally, if at all)

B

Responsibility for implementing feedback assigned to specific individuals instead of a committee

C

Important violations to be corrected immediately

D Less important violations corrected within a week

4) Fulfills safety, hazard, occupational and other legally required building codes

5) Passes the real test: 3 highly sensitive autistics lives individually in the room for a day without signs of discomfort

NOT compliant

Explanations

CRT monitors and TVs: Old, large TV sets use Cathode Ray Tube technology. Modern TVs and computer monitors use LCD and plasma technology, resulting in flat and lightweight sets that also eliminate many sensory problems.

Triple Tube System: I have an idea of using 3 florescent lamps, each hooked up to a different phase of a 3-phase circuit. With the help of a diffuser, the lamps will theoretically cancel each other's flicker.

LED: An array of Light Emitting Diodes will cost much more than a florescent lamp. They are energy saving and emit so little heat that museums use them in display galleries to avoid damaging their artifacts. If we are using mains power, we can stabilize the current fed into the lamps to stop flickering.


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Ideal Conditions

  • Bare, soundproof room without windows
  • Room is of the most comfortable size; neither too big or small
  • Room is of a uniform, dull and light color
  • Flicker-free lighting
  • Smell-free
  • Floor is firm but soft; cannot hear footsteps
  • No noisy machinery
  • No one else in the room

Realistic Conditions

  • Simple room without windows
  • Good ventilation
  • Walls of dull colors with minimum furniture and no decorative objects
  • Flicker-free lighting
  • Only necessary equipment and people are in the room
  • People entering the room do not have any odors (esp. perfume)
  • No large reflective surfaces (like one way observation windows; use video cameras instead)
  • No high contrast colors or patterns

Additional Considerations for children

  • Equipment should be durable and able to withstand abuse or dismantling
  • Dangerous machinery should be kept out of sight, or failing that, out of reach
  • All accessible items are labeled with words and pictures of how to use them

References

New Autism Articles
DIY Autism Therapy
One Giant Leap from Autism
Some parents also need therapy
Financial Planning
Story Writing & Creativity for Autistics
Using Facebook for Aspies