This the week, the DayCape team has been doing phone interviews to understand the daily lives of people with autism and to see how DayCape could make their life easier. We have chosen to interview three people with different experiences of autism.
Tina is a mother of three children with autism, therefore it is extra important with structure and routines for Tina and her family. It is important that every single day is well structured and planned. Tinas family have a big whiteboard screen in the hallway with the weekly schedule for the family. Every family member can go back and look at the screen for information about their day. Tina and her family also use a few different apps to make the planning easier for the family. These apps give Tina the chance to plan her children’s day and put in activities for them during the day. Tina uses a lot of images in her children’s schedules; it helps them to remember specific activities better when they can relate them to pictures.
The problem with the children having the apps on their own phones is that they are good at figuring out the passwords and they sometimes remove things or changes things in the schedule. But she also points out that sometimes allowing her kids to make changes can be a good thing. Tina’s daughter for example, started to put in a lot of pictures of waffles, in purpose to show Tina that she wanted more scheduled time to eat waffles. So for Tina’s daughter it enables her to communicate which is a good thing.
What Tina thinks is missing in the apps that they have been using is an effective timevisualizer. She would like to see time schedules and deadlines for the activities so they can plan their time more easily.
Björn is a special teacher for eight fifteen year-olds with autism. For these students, planning is crucial. Breaks and transitions between lessons can be very difficult for his students if the schedule does not tell them exactly what to do next. Sometimes the students stand off by themselves and don’t know where to go or what to do.
This is why Björn thinks it’s important to not only plan the classes, but also the time in between. It’s good to give suggestions of things to do at breaks and in detail describe how they need to prepare for next class, books to bring and so on.
Björn thinks it would help if the teacher could share the schedule with the students so that the teacher could change things right in the students’ schedules to avoid unplanned spare time. To make it easier for the students to see what is required from them, Björn is currently using a checklist for each lesson that describes what they need to do
Rebecca is a writer who is, like many others, in need of extra structure throughout her workday.
Rebecca’s need for extra structure causes her to her write lists every morning of what to do throughout the day. She thinks it is important to keep track of how much time she needs for every task and meeting at work so that she easily can see how much time she needs to set aside for work every day. Rebecca also uses checklist to check off everything she gets done and to easily see what she has left to do. Right now she uses paper or Post-it notes for all of her lists but expresses that she would prefer to have them on the computer or in an app.