Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) behave in different ways from other children as well as face enormous problems in their daily life. Previous research has found that physical treatment not only improves their body functions, but also benefits their mental development. Play therapy is a very effective way to help children with ASD since playing is the way children express themselves. However, after field research and benchmarking, I found that there are few toys helping them with their developmental coordination, which is necessary especially for children with ASD. In this paper, I have designed a series of devices for children with different levels of ASD to play with their different body parts to improve bimanual coordination, limb coordination and mental development. I developed and tested various colors, sizes, shapes, materials of mock-ups with children with ASD and tried to apply different kinds of feedbacks to the device. Specifically, bright colors are more attractive to children with ASD, but too bright colors should be avoided since some children with ASD have hypersensitivity with colors. Toys with a big size catch more of their attention than those with a small size despite of colors. Besides, combining materials with different softness could benefit children with ASD in therapy. Auditory elements have little attraction to children with ASD with normal sight unless it is very loud. By contrast, visual feedbacks such as light and shape change attract children with ASD more. I applied those findings to my design Bubbo-a toy designed for play therapy, which children with ASD could use to crawl on the floor or just touch and squeeze.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Play therapy; Toys--Design; Autistic children--Education
Industrial Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CAD)
Wang, Ye, "Toy Design for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Based on Existing Therapeutic Training Methods" (2020). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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