Exploring the Role of Adults in Participatory Design for Children on the Autism Spectrum

  • Bryan BoyleEmail author
  • Inmaculada Arnedillo-Sánchez
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9746)


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.


Autism 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’.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science and StatisticsTrinity College DublinDublinIreland

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