Utilizing An Environmental Check For People On The Autism Spectrum (Element one)


Doing the job in the area of autism for several decades, it has continuously shocked me that several practitioners and carers experienced not totally considered the effect of the surroundings on men and women on the autism spectrum. Some experienced thought the only sensory difficulty in autism was hypersensitivity to sounds. Other pros these as teachers or occupational therapists realized environments ended up not ideal, but ended up not guaranteed where by to start off searching to change this.

Even though traveling to a university 1 day I experienced a dialogue with a instructor who was really educated about the wants of small children on the autism spectrum and really knowledgeable of the environmental effect on her class of eight small children. She instructed me that she experienced been slowly but surely completing sensory profiles on all her pupils employing Olga Bogdashina’s reserve as a basis (Bogdashina, 2003). We agreed that these individual profiles ended up superb and really thorough, although they took a prolonged time to full.

 We reviewed how the classroom was not ideal in sensory terms. House was at a premium, sounds and other distractions ended up many, and I admired how she coped and was in a position to get any teaching accomplished at all. I therefore made a decision to consider how the surroundings may well be assessed.

 Evaluate of the literature

 Attwood (1998) argues that

 “…40% of small children with autism have some type of sensory sensitivity…the incidence may well be the exact for Asperger syndrome”

 and there are a quantity of other guides that concentration on the sensory concerns for small children on the autism spectrum (e.g. Godwin, Emmons and McKendry, 2005). There seems to be a lot less literature on the effect of the sensory surroundings. The leaflet by Nguyen (2006) for the Nationwide Autistic Modern society entitled Creating an autism-pleasant surroundings was likely the most accessible and simple to examine for carers and pros Morton-Cooper (2004) also has a chapter highlighting the scientific surroundings, although this was tailor-made specially for health pros.

 Whitehurst (2006) explained the style of a new developing for small children on the autism spectrum and Humphreys (2005) appeared at this subject. This literature gives superior history awareness but none experienced an evaluation software that I could use to establish how acceptable a location was. I therefore made a decision to establish a checklist myself.

How to do it?

The major objective of acquiring the environmental checklist was to build a software that was fast and simple to use. It needed to be accessible by all moms and dads/carers, pros and men and women on the spectrum. I wanted it to be utilised to improve or greatly enhance superior apply.

The classes addressed in the checklist needed to mirror the regularly reported  concerns.  I wanted the checklist to reveal how pleasant the surroundings may well be to a person with on the autism spectrum, and a catalyst for change.

 I made a decision to divide the checklist into four regions:

  • Sensory -The sensory regions coated consist of touch, sight, scent, hearing, flavor, balance and physique consciousness
  • Conversation methods
  • Escape (how and where by can men and women escape from nerve-racking scenarios)
  • Other (things these as monetary constraints)

 Each of the four regions has a quantity of thoughts that will need to be answered

Certainly or No

Not all thoughts are relevant to all environments. I made a decision that immediately after each and every question, illustrations could be specified and remedies advised.

I made a decision not to give too specific remedies and for these to be  created by means of dialogue. For instance, carers may well will need to appear at the combine of wants of other small children or older people. Academics may well will need to consider learning and the practicalities of a university day.

 Everyone is an individual

There has been some criticism that each and every individual on the autism spectrum is various so how can you build an surroundings entirely ASC pleasant?

I would recognise this nonetheless feel a check out to see if all is being accomplished to recognise the consequences of the surroundings can only be beneficial.

In stating this nonetheless I would recognise that on occasions there can be opposing sensory tastes and sensitivities knowledgeable by two or far more men and women producing the development of an ideal surroundings far more difficult.

 An instance of a completed segment of the checklist is specified under to illustrate its use.


Are the colours in

the surroundings minimal arousal,

these as cream and pastel shades

and not crimson or lively.?                                                Certainly or  No

Look at regardless of whether all rooms /areas will need

will need a change of paint or wallpaper?

Recent situation

There are a wide range of colours in our



About 50 percent of the partitions are

bright pink and it’s possible much too lively

for a person with autism


Instructed resolution

Re-paint partitions with pastel environmentally friendly

and request students with

autism to opt for

the colour.

Is the surroundings cluttered

with home furniture?                                            Certainly or No

” It has been advised that men and women

 with ASD uncover it practical if home furniture is

 kept to the sides of a place and the

 central space is kept obvious”


(Nguyen, 2006)

 Current situation

Most of the place is uncluttered,


at times actions are

not tidied away thoroughly and

components are remaining out.

Instructed resolution

Ensure place is remaining tidy at all moments.

 Implications for apply

As a nurse myself I can see the effect of an unfriendly environment on the wards and in the neighborhood. Individual treatment can be compromised and men and women on the autism spectrum can put up with as a consequence. In training, teaching workers can uncover by themselves not able to instruct and far more importantly, students on the autism spectrum may well be not able to master. An environmental check out has the possible to empower carers and pros to evaluate their residences, wards, lecture rooms and other options in relation to the persons with autism they are living and functioning with to consider regardless of whether alterations may well be beneficial.

*There has been an first pilot of the checklist  which has been utilised in universities and neighborhood health groups with really optimistic suggestions. This will carry on and be more evaluated in excess of the coming yr.

 Concluding opinions

 It would be really valuable to perform a tiny analyze to assess the use of the checklist and its consequences. For a person on the autism spectrum, the sensory surroundings can have a profound impact on behaviour, pressure degrees, learning and endeavor general performance.  Sensory profiles on the small children and older people on the autism spectrum are advisable in addition to this environmental checklist, these as that supplied by Bogdashina (2003).

The really mother nature of autism means that modifying the surroundings may well be upsetting for some men and women on the spectrum. However, this need to not deter workers and carers from change if it is felt to be beneficial, as disruption to the surroundings may well be negligible and short long lasting. There will be realistic factors (e.g. revenue, time) and at times a clash of individual sensory profiles that will need to be reviewed and settled (e.g. a particular person who likes the gentle and a person who likes the dark sharing a place).  I hope this paper will prompt other individuals to consider the environments they build and the consequences on all those who dwell and work inside these.


Attwood.T (1998) Asperger syndrome: a tutorial for moms and dads and pros, London. Jessica Kingsley publishers.

 Bogdashina. O (2003) Sensory perceptual concerns in autism: various sensory ordeals – various perceptual worlds, London. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

 Clements, J. and Zarkowska, E. (2000) Behavioural worries and autistic spectrum conditions: explanations and approaches for change.  London Jessica Kingsley Publishers

 Godwin Emmons, P. and McKendry Anderson, L. (2005) Comprehension sensory dysfunction: learning, improvement and sensory dysfunction in autism spectrum conditions, adhd, learning disabilities and bipolar disorder. London. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

 Howlin, P (1998) Young children with autism and Asperger syndrome: A tutorial for practitioners and carers. Chichester. Wiley

 Jordan .R (2001) Autism with critical learning problems: a tutorial for moms and dads and pros. London. David Fulton

 Humphreys, S (2005) ‘Autism & architecture’

www.autismlondon.org.british isles/pdf-data files/bulletin­

_feb-mar_2005 accessed 16 March 2006

 Morton-Cooper, A. (2004) health care and the autism spectrum –a tutorial for health pros, Mothers and fathers and Carers, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

 Nguyen. A (2006) Creating an autism-pleasant surroundings,London. Nationwide Autistic Modern society.

 Plimley. L (2004) Analysis of a student endeavor to build an autism-pleasant living surroundings. Superior Autism Follow Journal 5, two, 35-41

 Schopler. E (1995) Mum or dad Survival Manual A tutorial to disaster resolution in Autism and connected Developmental conditions. New York and London, Plenum Press

 Whitaker.P (2001) –Challenging Conduct and Autism-Creating perception, producing development A tutorial to protecting against and taking care of difficult behaviour for moms and dads and teachers. London. Nationwide Autistic Modern society.

 Whitehurst, T. (2006) The effect of developing style on small children with autistic spectrum conditions, Superior Autism Follow Journal, 7, one 31-39

 Wing.L (1996)-The Autistic Spectrum a tutorial for moms and dads and pros. London. Constable and Robinson.

 Stephen Simpson B.Phil (Autism) RNLD