Noise and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children: An Exploratory Survey
With more students being educated in schools for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) than ever before, architects and interior designers need to consider the environmental features that may be modified to enhance the academic and social success of autistic students in school.
Objectives: This study explored existing empirical research on the impact of noise on children with ASD and provides recommendations regarding design features that can contribute to noise reduction.
Methods: A survey, which addressed the impact of architectural design elements on autism-related behavior, was developed for teachers of children with ASD and distributed to three schools.
Results: Most teachers found noise control to be an important issue for students with autism and many observed children using ear defenders. In terms of managing issues related to noise, most teachers agreed that thick or soundproof walls and carpet in the classroom were the most important issues for children with ASD.
Conclusions: Suggested future research should address architectural considerations for building an acoustically friendly environment for children with autism, identifying patterns of problematic behaviors in response to acoustical features of the built environment of the classroom setting, and ways to manage maladaptive behaviors in acoustically unfriendly environments.
Autism, ASD, Acoustics, Noise, Classroom, Built Environment
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