Acoustic Design and Repetitive Behavior in Children with Autism

Friday, May 12, 2017: 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
S. Kanakri, Ball State University, Fishers, IN
Background:  Emerging research in Evidence-Based Design for interiors is considering the unique sensory needs of users with autism spectrum disorders within built environments.

Objectives:  The current study observes the impact of the acoustic environment on repetitive behavior in children with autism.

Methods:  An observational study was conducted in four school classrooms for children with autism to observe changes in behavior associated with changes in the decibel levels in the room. 42 children, between the ages of 6-9 years old, diagnosed with high functioning autism were observed in classroom settings. Variant decibel levels in the classrooms and variance in the frequency of repetitive behaviors were measured to determine the strength and direction of the correlations between the two. Results were analyzed using Noldus Observer XT software.

Results: The repetitive behavior of children with autism is correlated with the acoustical condition of their environment


These findings should be considered in the design of classrooms for children with ASD, for the benefit user comfort and educational performance.