By Autistic People, For Autistic People
Autism is the world’s fastest growing developmental disorder. Recent research by University of Newcastle suggests that as many as 1 in 57 children in the UK will be diagnosed as autistic. In the US, the Centre for Disease Control reports that 1 in 44 children is diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
As a result, more and more research is being carried out looking at its causes and the impact it has. Which bodes well for future understanding.
But what about the people who are autistic now? Can we do more to understand them and their needs?
There is no such thing as a typical autistic person. They are as wonderfully individual as every other person on the planet. So, learning more about them and their lives and what we can do to make their lives richer is not going to be easy.
But just because something is difficult doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t try.
The only way to do it is to listen to autistic people, to what they have to say, and to what they want.
When it comes to creating a VR game for autistic people, it means consulting autistic people on every detail. It means prioritising autistic people’s views. It means testing what we come up with at every step to ensure we’ve got it right. It means working with and employing autistic people whenever possible.
Of course, autistic people are individuals, each unique in their own interests and likes and aspirations. We have to accept that what we create will not appeal to every autistic person.
But we hope that, by listening and learning, we can create something that the majority of autistic people can recognise as being designed for them to enjoy, to make their lives richer.