Exploring the Role of Adults in Participatory Design for Children on the Autism Spectrum
The use of participatory design for the development of technology for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is highlighted for its importance in ensuring a successful outcome and empowering participating children and their families. To date, research has focused on the role the child with autism can play within the design process. This qualitative study examines the contribution adult stakeholders can bring to such participatory design processes.
Our results suggest that parents and professionals have contributions to make in terms of: (1.) supporting the participation of children; (2.) bringing their own experience to bear on the process. Nonetheless, their inclusion requires a more supportive infrastructure that encourages and assists their participation. Overcoming the reluctance of parents and professionals to partake in research and development processes could be facilitated by the provision of awareness, training and education activities that would allow them to contribute more and better prepare their children to engage in the process.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Participatory design
The authors would like to extend their gratitude to the Mada Qatar Assistive Technology Center for their support for this study and to members of the Autism Parents Group in Doha, Qatar that contributed to this research.
This research has received funding from the charity RESPECT and the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under REA grant agreement no. PCOFUND-GA-2013-608728’.
- 1.Jo, H., Schieve, L.A., Rice, C.E., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Tian, L.H., Blumberg, S.J., Kogan, M.D., Boyle, C.A.: Age at Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis by race, ethnicity, and primary household language among children with special health care needs, United States, 2009-2010. Matern. Child Health J. 19(8), 1687–1697 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 7.Georgiades, S., Szatmari, P., Boyle, M., Hanna, S., Duku, E., Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Fombonne, E., Volden, J., Mirenda, P., Smith, I., Roberts, W., Vaillancourt, T., Waddell, C., Bennett, T., Thompson, A.: Investigating phenotypic heterogeneity in children with autism spectrum disorder: a factor mixture modeling approach. J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry Allied Discip. 54(2), 206–215 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Coons, K., Watson, S.: Conducting research with individuals who have intellectual disabilities: ethical and practical implications for qualitative research. J. Dev. Disabil. 19(2), 14–22 (2013)Google Scholar
- 13.Irvine, A.: Conducting qualitative research with individuals with developmental disabilities: methodological and ethical considerations. Dev. Disabil. Bull. 38(1–2), 21–34 (2010)Google Scholar
- 18.Frauenberger, C., Good, J., Alcorn, A.: Challenges, opportunities and future perspectives in including children with disabilities in the design of interactive technology. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, IDC 2012, pp. 367–370 (2012)Google Scholar
- 19.Curzon, J.: With hindsight: an overview of the autism spectrum disorder participatory action research project. Kairaranga 9, 3–8 (2008)Google Scholar
- 20.Sanders, E.B.: From user-centered to participatory design approaches. In: Design and the Social Sciences: Making Connections, pp. 1–8. CRC Press (2002)Google Scholar