Supporting the design contributions of children with autism spectrum conditions

Frauenberger, Christopher, Good, Judith, Alcorn, Alyssa and Pain, Helen (2012) Supporting the design contributions of children with autism spectrum conditions. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '12), 12-15 June, 2012, Bremen, Germany.

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In this paper we describe the development of a tool to sup- port the contributions of children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) in a design critique activity. The work is part of the ECHOES project in which we have included children with ASC in a participatory design process to cre- ate a technologically enhanced learning environment. We first discuss the general difficulties of involving children with ASC in participatory design work, particularly a socially de- manding activity such as design critique. Based on theory from autism research and the results from our own previous design work, we then lay out requirements for a tool to al- low children with ASC to become meaningfully involved in a design critique of the ECHOES environment. Subsequently, we describe a prototype of an annotation tool based on these requirements, a pilot study, and feedback elicited from spe- cial education teachers. We then report on a study in which seven children with ASC were involved in critiquing a pro- totype of the ECHOES system using the annotator. In our analysis of the children’s annotator use, we found that it served the intended purposes as a visual support, but also that it was appropriated for other means, such as emotional self-regulation. We discuss examples of these different uses and close by asking how these findings could be applied in other contexts where tools are required to facilitate a dis- course in design, rather than directly capture its output.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0075 Electronic computers. Computer science
Depositing User: Judith Good
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2012 09:15
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2012 09:15
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