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Title: Assisting the autistic To reduce anxiety caused by their environment
Authors: Rotter, KRG
Atherton, MA
Keywords: Autistic spectrum disorder;Anxietyinducing noise;Mechatronic concepts
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Mechatronics 2014, Karlstad University, Sweden
Citation: The 14th Mechatronics Forum International Conference, Karlstad, Sweden, June 16-18, 2014.
Abstract: Many people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) find certain sounds so unpleasant that their lifestyle can be severely impaired by the need to avoid these noises. This paper considers several common sources of such anxietyinducing noise in the normal home and working environments, and considers whether this problem could be addressed with mechatronic concepts. People with ASD were tested for their reactions to a range of noises, and to the same noises filtered through noise reduction devices. Analysis of the probable characteristics of the anxiety- causing noise features was made. The noises were varying in time and pitch. In addition to anecdotal and survey evidence some carefully structured tests were carried out on some participants using the devices. Based on this investigation, specific mechatronic devices are proposed, using active noise control to selectively soften the sounds, which may be suitably used by those suffering ASD. A smart home or office could deploy multiple devices, in the optimal locations to reduce any offensive noise, whilst preserving a pleasant environment that allows the user the ability to communicate. Furthermore the environment could be tuned to the needs of specific individuals, and switched when they are present.
ISBN: 978-91-7063-564-9
Appears in Collections:Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Research Papers

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