A place to play: Researcher designs schoolyard for children with autism
May 08, 2012
A place to play: Researcher designs schoolyard for children with autism
MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University graduate student is creating a schoolyard that can become a therapeutic landscape for children with autism.
Chelsey King, master's student in landscape architecture, St. Peters, Mo., is working with Katie Kingery-Page, assistant professor of landscape architecture, to envision a place where elementary school children with autism could feel comfortable and included.
"My main goal was to provide different opportunities for children with autism to be able to interact in their environment without being segregated from the rest of the school," King said. "I didn't want that separation to occur."
The schoolyard can be an inviting place for children with autism, King said, if it provides several aspects: clear boundaries, a variety of activities and activity level spaces, places where the child can go when overstimulated, opportunities for a variety of sensory input without being overwhelming and a variety of ways to foster communication between peers.
"The biggest issue with traditional schoolyards is that they are completely open but also busy and crowded in specific areas," King said. "This can be too overstimulating for a person with autism."
King researched ways that she could create an environment where children with autism would be able to interact with their surroundings and their peers, but where they could also get away from overstimulation until they felt more comfortable and could re-enter the activities.
"Through this research, I was able to determine that therapies and activities geared toward sensory stimulation, cognitive development, communication skills, and fine and gross motor skills -- which traditionally occur in a classroom setting -- could be integrated into the schoolyard," King said.
King designed her schoolyard with both traditional aspects -- such as a central play area -- and additional elements that would appeal to children with autism, including:
* A music garden where children can play with outdoor musical instruments to help with sensory aspects.
*An edible garden/greenhouse that allows hands-on interaction with nature and opportunities for horticulture therapy.
*A sensory playground, which uses different panels to help children build tolerances to difference sensory stimulation.
* A butterfly garden to encourage nature-oriented learning in a quiet place.
*A variety of alcoves, which provide children with a place to get away when they feel overwhelmed and want to regain control.
King created different signs and pictures boards around these schoolyard elements, so that it was easier for children and teachers to communicate about activities. She also designed a series of small hills around the central play areas so that children with autism could have a place to escape and watch the action around them.
"It is important to make the children feel included in the schoolyard without being overwhelmed," King said. "It helps if they have a place -- such as a hill or an alcove -- where they can step away from it and then rejoin the activity when they are ready.
King and Kingery-Page see the benefits of this type of schoolyard as an enriching learning environment for all children because it involves building sensory experience and communication.
"Most children spend seven to nine hours per weekday in school settings," Kingery-Page said. "Designing schoolyards that are educational, richly experiential, with potentially restorative nature contact for children should be a community concern."
The researchers collaborated with Jessica Wilkinson, a special education teacher who works with children with autism. King designed her schoolyard around Amanda Arnold Elementary School, which is the Manhattan school district's magnet school for children with autism.
"Although there are no current plans to construct the schoolyard, designing for a real school allowed Chelsey to test principles synthesized from literature against the actual needs of an educational facility," Kingery-Page said. "Chelsey's interaction with the school autism coordinator and school principal has grounded her research in the daily challenges of elementary education for students with autism."
King presented her research, "Therapeutic schoolyard: Design for autism spectrum disorder," at the recent K-State Research Forum.
Kansas State University
Related Autism Current Events and Autism News ArticlesPathbreaking study by Israeli and American neuroscientists reveals autism's 'noisy' secret
Strapped into a motion-enabled simulator and wearing 3D glasses, 36 adolescent volunteers recently experienced what it was like to "travel" through a field of virtual stars.Fine particulate air pollution associated with increased risk of childhood autism
Exposure to fine particulate air pollution during pregnancy through the first two years of a child's life may be associated with an increased risk of the child developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition that affects one in 68 children, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health investigation of children in southwestern Pennsylvania. Animals' presence may ease social anxiety in kids with autism
Animals' presence may ease social anxiety in kids with autism NIH-funded study could have implications for treatment Stuttering linked to rhythm perception deficiency
Stuttering may be more than a speech problem. For the first time, researchers have found that children who stutter have difficulty perceiving a beat in music-like rhythms, which could account for their halting speech patterns.UCI neurobiologists restore youthful vigor to adult brains
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. The same can be said of the adult brain. Its connections are hard to change, while in children, novel experiences rapidly mold new connections during critical periods of brain development. Perspective-taking difficulties diminished when autistic and psychosis tendencies balance
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shed new light on the relationship between autistic tendencies and psychosis proneness in neurotypical adults. Research finds differences in the brains and behavior of girls and boys with autism
New research conducted by the UC Davis MIND Institute on a large cohort of preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder has found differences in the underlying biology of their brains, and in their behavior, that may help explain how the condition affects a little-studied and poorly understood population of children: girls.New insights into the male bias of autism
Male toddlers with autism have significant structural differences in their brains compared to females with the condition, according to research published in the open access journal Molecular Autism.Brain cells capable of 'early-career' switch
Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered that the role of neurons -- which are responsible for specific tasks in the brain -- is much more flexible than previously believed. For children with autism, trips to the dentist just got easier
Going to the dentist might have just gotten a little less scary for the estimated 1 in 68 U.S. children with autism spectrum disorder as well as children with dental anxiety, thanks to new research from USC.
More Autism Current Events and Autism News Articles
Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World|
by Raun K. Kaufman (Author)
As a boy, Raun Kaufman was diagnosed by multiple experts as severely autistic, with an IQ below 30, and destined to spend his life in an institution. Years later, Raun graduated with a degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and has become a passionate and articulate autism expert and educator with no trace of his former condition.
So what happened?Thanks to The Son-Rise Program, a revolutionary method created by his parents, Raun experienced a full recovery from autism. (His story was recounted in the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues and in the award-winning NBC television movie Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love.) In Autism Breakthrough, Raun presents the ground-breaking principles behind the program that helped him and thousands of other families with special...
Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism|
by Chantal Sicile-Kira (Author)
Newly revised and updated, this award-winning guide covers every aspect of understanding and living with autism today
Comprehensive and authoritative, Autism Spectrum Disorders explains all aspects of the condition, and is written for parents, educators, caregivers, and others looking for accurate information and expert insight. Newly updated to reflect the latest research, treatment methods, and DSM-V criteria, this invaluable book covers:
• The causes of autism spectrum disorders
• Getting an accurate diagnosis
• Treatments based on behavioral, psychological, and biomedical interventions
• Coping strategies for families and education needs and programs
• Living and working conditions for adults with ASD
• Community interaction and teaching...
101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Asperger's and Sensory Processing Disorders|
by Tara Delaney (Author)
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY One of the best ways for children with autism, Asperger's, and sensory processing disorders to learn is through play. Children improve their motor skills, language skills, and social skills by moving their bodies and interacting with their environment. Yet the biggest challenges parents, teachers, and loved ones face with children on the autism spectrum or with sensory processing disorders is how to successfully engage them in play. Pediatric occupational therapist Tara Delaney provides the answer. In 101 Games and Activities for Children with Autism, Asperger's, and Sensory Processing Disorders, she shows you how to teach your children by moving their bodies through play. These interactive games are quick to learn but will provide hours of fun and learning for...
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition|
by Ellen Notbohm (Author), Veronica Zysk (Editor)
A bestseller gets even better! Every parent, teacher, social worker, therapist, and physician should have this succinct and informative book in their back pocket. Framed with both humor and compassion, the book describes ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism.
Ellen’s personal experiences as a parent of children with autism and ADHD, a celebrated autism author, and a contributor to numerous publications, classrooms, conferences, and websites around the world coalesce to create a guide for all who come in contact with a child on the autism spectrum. This updated edition delves into expanded thought and deeper discussion of communication issues, social processing skills, and the critical roles adult perspectives play in guiding the child with...
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism|
by Naoki Higashida (Author), KA Yoshida (Translator), David Mitchell (Translator)
“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Businessweek • Bookish
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break...
The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed|
by Temple Grandin (Author), Richard Panek (Author)
“The right brain has created the right book for right now.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Temple Grandin may be the most famous person with autism, a condition that affects 1 in 88 children. Since her birth in 1947, our understanding of it has undergone a great transformation, leading to more hope than ever before that we may finally learn the causes of and treatments for autism.
Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the advances in neuroimaging and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show which anomalies might explain common symptoms. Most excitingly, she argues that raising and educating kids on the autism spectrum must focus on their long-overlooked strengths to...
Life Through His Eyes|
by Virginia R. Victorio
Life is not always what we want it to be. Mauricio is struggling with a life he didn't choose for himself and is about to learn an amazing lesson from the person he loves the most - Short Story
Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum|
by Alyson Beytien (Author)
Stemming from a wealth of both professional and personal experience, this guidebook combines real-life stories of challenges and successes with practical ideas for handling autism, every day. Autism consultant Alyson Beytien outlines over 150 tried-and-true techniques for home, school, and community. Alyson’s three boys cover the whole spectrum of autism—Asperger’s syndrome, high-functioning autism, and classic autism. She understands the wide range of needs these children have and has discovered what helps and what hinders. Covering a full gamut of issues—from picky-eating and echolalia to IEPs and “The Woes of Walmart”—Alyson’s ideas and interventions will inspire and inform all those who are connected to a person with autism. Alyson believes that each day brings more...
An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn|
by Sally J. Rogers PhD (Author), Geraldine Dawson PhD (Author), Laurie A. Vismara PhD (Author)
Cutting-edge research reveals that parents can play a huge role in helping toddlers and preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) connect with others and live up to their potential. This encouraging guide from the developers of a groundbreaking early intervention program provides doable, practical strategies you can use every day. Nearly all young kids—including those with ASD—have an amazing capacity to learn. Drs. Sally Rogers, Geraldine Dawson, and Laurie Vismara make it surprisingly simple to turn daily routines like breakfast or bath time into fun and rewarding learning experiences that target crucial developmental skills. Vivid examples illustrate proven techniques for promoting play, language, and engagement. Get an early start—and give your child the tools to...
Autism: The Ultimate Parenting Handbook For Teaching An Autistic Child That Will Improve Their Life Forever (Special Needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergrs, ... Breakthrough, Autism Books, ADHD, Children)|
Do you want to know how to make life easier, simpler, and better for children affected with Autism Spectrum Disease using solid strategies and useful information?
If your children or someone you know is affected with Autism Spectrum Disease (ASD) you probably know that learning and development is a very big challenge. Also you may know that children diagnosed with ASD face difficulties in areas like communication, language, repetitive behavior, socialization, and restricted interests. For this reason it is extremely important that the family and caregivers (at home and school) have the appropriate education and knowledge to make life easier, simpler and better for these beloved children.
This guide contains the most important information you must know about ASD and...