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Inclusion and Wellbeing for People with Autism and the Role of Built Environment

9 pagesPublished: October 23, 2017

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are neurological disorders which make inclusion in society very difficult for the affected individuals. The main challenges that people with autism face are related to sensory processing disorders, communication difficulties and restricted repetitive patterns of behaviour. Current methods for integrating people with autism focus primarily on equipping autistic individuals with the tools to tolerate circumstances that they might find uncomfortable in social day-to-day situations. The society’s response on accommodating the condition is usually restricted to improving access to selected spaces which often have limited functionality and give the autistic narrow margins for physical and intellectual development. The paper shows the preliminary results of a qualitative meta-analysis of the extant literature relating to the balance between the cost that society needs to pay for the inclusion of people with autism versus the benefits that it can receive in the economical, social and human rights context. Also, employing the same methodology, the study explores the way in which built environment can have a contribution to the integration of people with autism and the degree to which inclusive physical space represents a positive factor to an autistic individual’s subjective wellbeing and quality of life.

Keyphrases: Autism, built environment, inclusion, Integration, Wellbeing

In: Marsha Lamb (editor). AUBEA 2017: Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference 2017, vol 1, pages 187--195

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