Designing For Neurodiverse Sufferers – HCD Journal

Based mostly on completely different research, between 15-20 % of the inhabitants is taken into account neurodiverse—a time period that describes the vary of neurological variations that exist amongst folks. These situations embody consideration deficit hyperactivity dysfunction, dyslexia, and Tourette syndrome.

Wanting on the pediatric inhabitants, particularly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Community estimates that about 1 in 44 youngsters has been recognized with autism spectrum dysfunction.

Designing inclusive healthcare settings

Fueled by each rising consciousness and analysis, extra healthcare organizations are on the lookout for design options to deal with sufferers’ numerous wants—not simply in services with particular companies, akin to an autism clinic, but in addition extra normal healthcare environments. (For extra on this matter, learn “Seattle Youngsters’s Focuses On Neurodiverse Affected person Wants At New Clinic,” which ran in Healthcare Design’s April 2023 problem.)

“The design of a extra inclusive atmosphere that higher helps all the inhabitants is simply good design,” says Karen S. Freeman, principal and healthcare apply chief at HOK’s Atlanta workplace. “So it’s changing into a extra prevalent matter than it ever has earlier than.”

For instance, Freeman says extra pediatric shoppers are on the lookout for design concepts that help sufferers with completely different neurological wants in addition to their households.

“Being in a healthcare house is usually a annoying atmosphere for anybody, however particularly for the neurodiverse,” who could be over- or under-stimulated by components akin to lighting, sound, texture, and smells, she says.

Design issues for neurodiverse sufferers

Design approaches that take into account these experiential features of the atmosphere and supply choices and selection inside the healthcare setting are among the options she discusses with shoppers.

For instance, offering a seating area of interest in a ready room can present the chance for somebody to really feel extra enclosed and safe whereas ready for his or her appointment.

Different concepts, akin to temperature or lighting controls, enable customers to regulate settings to their preferences.

“It’s about flexibility and selection and giving folks autonomy over their atmosphere, and the chance for dignity and efficient administration of their very own wants,” she says.

Anne DiNardo is govt editor of Healthcare Design. She could be reached at [email protected].