Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD), as the name suggests is characterized by a spectrum of neurological disorders. It is a developmental disorder with core deficits in 3 domains - social interaction, social communication and imagination( in the context of play). Other symptoms include restricted interests and repititive behaviour. It is highly idiosyncratic in nature. Research stresses the importance of providing early and intensive interventions that are highly individualized. The purpose of this study is to reflect on the importance of a modular and progressive-natured inclusive design. It demonstrates how interaction design and tangible computing/interfaces can be used in supporting the caregivers in effectively helping the child with autism to achieve self-regulation and other skills of interest using the tool developed as aid.
Auti-Lite was developed through a user centered design approach and consists of two parts - a generic modular ‘frame’ that can hold a number of ‘tiles’, meant to be used at school or at home. It allows the parents and teachers to customize the product to meet different requirements of a child in the spectrum. Tiles afford tangible interaction and can be sensory, communicational, voice-activated, or supporting the acquisition of social, academic, motor skills, interactional needs and so on.
The idea, therefore, is a family of products that would then, evolve, in accordance with the child's advancements in their understanding, acquisition of skills and developmental levels. It also aims to enhance the relationship dynamics and communication between the child and the caregiver by providing opportunities for play-based interactions while also encouraging co-participation. In short, Auti-Lite can be a valuable tool in engaging children with autistic disabilities.