There is a growing consensus that an appropriate classroom environment will aid the performance of the pupil with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There are, however, very few design guidelines available when considering ASD and the school environment. Such guidelines that do exist tend only to be in general terms. Therefore, this article seeks to highlight design considerations specifically for the ASD-friendly Key Stage 1 (age five to eight) classroom. It will first highlight some of the challenges for those with autism spectrum disorder in a school environment and the triad of challenges faced by architects and designers when considering ASD-friendly classroom design. It will then go on to describe the findings and results of a two-year study carried out in conjunction with the ASD teaching staff of Northern Ireland's Southern Education and Library Board. These consist of 16 specific design considerations for the Key Stage 1 ASD-friendly classroom applicable to all classrooms for pupils between five and eight years of age.
- Architecture; Autism; Children; Design; School Environment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
McAllister, K., & Maguire, B. (2012). Design considerations for the autism spectrum disorder-friendly Key Stage 1 classroom. Support for Learning, 27 (3), 103-112. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2012.01525.x