There are many families with stories to tell about living with autism. The latest study by Wasan Nagib and Allison Williams uses these to explore the challenges faced by families. The authors conclude with three recommended home typologies – detached and attached houses, and apartments. They also discuss policy implications. The article in Housing Studies, “Towards an autism friendly home environment” is published by Taylor and Frances Online.
Abstract: This study explores the challenges faced by children with autism and their families in the home environment and how physical elements of the home environment can be designed or modified to alleviate these challenges and create an autism-friendly home. The research employs qualitative methods to learn from the experiences of key informants involved in creating or modifying the home environment of people with autism; this involved interviews with architects and occupational therapists. To learn from the families themselves, an online survey of the families of children with autism across Canada and the United States was conducted. The study provides insight into the physical, social, and psychological challenges affecting the quality of life of children with autism and their families in their home environment and the contribution of home modifications to alleviating the challenges. The appropriateness of the three housing typologies – detached houses, attached houses, and apartments – to accommodate autism-related needs is discussed together with potential policy implications.