Recommendations (& navigation)

This website is all about the recommendations. Anyone who’s interested in the design of spaces used by people on the autistic spectrum, can consult them.
Parents, teachers, therapists, care-givers, coaches, trainers and, of course, people on the spectrum, can find tips and ideas on this website to make homes, schools, institutions and other buildings into places where people with autism feel at ease and can thrive.

All recommendations are derived from practical experience (see the acknowledgements) and/or the autism-friendly design literature. So none of the recommendations here are merely made up. By the way: visitors of this website are very much invited to share any autistic experience with the designed environment they may have.

Presently out of 194 recommendations 133 have been worked out (46 in the context ‘Child home’, 44 in the context ‘School’ and 43 in the context ‘Independent living’).

The recommendations are organized according to:
Context (such as ‘Child home’ or ‘School’)
Chapters (such as ‘interior design’ or ‘installations and appliances’)

Furthermore: each chapter has a number of themes.
And: each recommendation lists the autistic problems it aims to address.

There are five contexts:

It goes without saying that many recommendations are applicable to more than these five contexts. For foster homes, for instance, or home help, one can of course consult ‘Child home’. For sheltered living arrangements or care farms one can consult long-stay home, and so on.

Presently recommendations are available around ‘Child home’, ‘School’ and ‘Independent living’.
The next context – after the number of recommendations in the present contexts have at least doubled – will be ‘Treatment home’.

In total there are about 150 ‘generic’ recommendations, waiting to be elaborated. Most of them will be tuned to more than one specific context while around 40 of them are about all five contexts. In the end a few hundred recommendations will result from the 150 generic ones.

Chapters, themes
There are five chapters:

  • Location
  • Garden / outside area
  • Architectural spaces
  • Interior design
  • Installations and appliances

The chapters relate to the kind of involvement with the spaces and the phase one is in. Choice of location, for instance, is mainly relevant when contemplating a new building or moving – if there is a choice.

If living in an apartment building, the outside area and garden will usually be less of a concern. In case of building and renovation, influence will usually be possible on the lay-out of the spaces, and so on.

Some recommendations cover the same subject and are more or less repeated, be it from different concerns. Advise about lighting the garden, for instance, is given once from the concern of (re-)designing the garden and again from (re-)doing the electrical circuit of the property. The first time it’s under the heading ‘garden / outside area’, the second under ‘installations and appliances’.

The themes express the more general principles and considerations from which several corresponding recommendations follow. Some themes reoccur under different chapters; ‘kitchens’ and ‘light and sight’ even occur three times each.
These are the themes under the five chapters:


Garden / outside area

Architectural spaces

Interior design

Installations and appliances

Each recommendation fits:

  • a specific context, such as ‘school’ or ‘child home’
  • a chapter, such as ‘location’ or ‘architectural spaces’
  • a theme, usually encompassing several recommendations, such as ‘sightlines’, ‘zoning’ or ‘kitchens’
  • one or a number of autism and/or related characteristics, such as ‘Central coherence’ or ‘limits of imagination’
    (About the relationship between autism characteristics and recommendations more can be said, see the ‘nota bene’ at the bottom of autism characteristics.)

The easiest way to navigate is to choose your context of interest and select the themes and recommendations you like. Hyperlinks there give background and further explanations.

You can also go to the index, and of course there’s always the search function…



You know: those blue words you can click on; the back-arrow will take you back to where you were.