Sunday, 31 July 2011

Infographic: Aneri, Kusha, Mariya, Huma, Rashmi

In this infographic we have tried to convert 2 cant's into ONE CAN.
Autistic Can't: Can't Socialise
Neuro typical Can't: Can't be compassionate
Common Goal: Social Interaction

Steps for Autistic Spectrum to fulfill this goal:

1. Awareness:
 Parents of Autistic Children need to recognize, understand and accept autism in their children. They shouldn't hesitate to get help.

2. Sending child for help:

a) Therapies:
     • Speech therapy: helps non-verbal children esp. through PECS- Picture Exchange Communication System. Use of Picture cards might encourage them to speak and interact with other children. 
• Occupational Therapy: Through things like anger management, physical co-ordination etc. it helps the child with skills to lead a more independent life. 
• Lego & Therapy through multi player games: These therapies are mostly for high functioning autistics. In lego therapy, there are sessions held for these children where they are given joint and interactive tasks by their coaches in a specially designed lego room. They are urged to come up with their own solutions for the tasks given as well as interact with others. This naturally leads them to build on their social and communicational skills. There are multi player games designed for autistic children to help their social skills. There is an interactive game environment set up so that they can collaboratively play games and try to crack problems. For e.g. Collaborative puzzle games
b) Educational Programs:
• TEACCH Approach: This approach allows customizing educational programs based on the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, visual clues are enabled for better learning purpose. 
• Peer Modelling:
This is an activity introduced in schools where teachers and peers help the special children to work on their social skills. Here the peers play an important role because they can help the other children fit in to the social environment. This also helps autistic children initiate conversations with them.
c) Other Treatments:
Applied Behaviour Analysis: Children with autism need a structured environment to really grasp things. ABA works on setting up the right kind of environment for them to improve their learning. They are given rewards for answering social questions correctly etc. 
Relationship Development Intervention: This is a program where parents get suggestions for their children to help them how to adapt better in the environment around and be more open to interact with others.

3. Self Management and Independence:
The techniques given above all help the children to become independent and regulate their behaviour and act appropriately in various day to day situations.

4. Social Interaction:
In this way, there is ability in the child to socially interact with others and not feel awkward.

Steps for Neuro Typicals to fulfil this goal:
1. Awareness:
 Other People, not associated with autistic children, should be aware of their condition. Only when they know about their behavioural patterns, they won’t react to it badly, and the autistic children won’t feel uncomfortable living in an outside environment and interacting with them.
2. Empathize:
  Once people know about the condition these children go through, they should try putting themselves in their shoes, try realising the kind of trouble these kids have to face. Only then will they be able to relate to them and understand their situation.
3. Understand:
    Once they know what the autistic children have to go through, they will be able to understand their situation, which will in turn help them be more sensitive to their actions and behaviour.
4. Be Sensitive:
     Understanding their situation helps people become more sensitive towards the autistic children. In this way, the autistic children won’t feel uncomfortable or awkward living with neuro typicals. This will enable a healthy environment for the two categories to interact with each other.
5. Social Interaction:   
      For neuro typicals to interact with the autistic spectrum, it is very important for them to go through the above steps, otherwise social interaction between the two is very difficult.

The three black symbols in the centre are to urge people to:
· Stop ignorance and apathy
· Pause to think
· Take Action
And the above steps to reach our final goal correspond to these symbols.

Infographic: Aneri, Kusha, Mariya, Huma, Rashmi

Thursday, 28 July 2011

AVP Community Center Proposal and Modified Main Road Map

Community Center (CC) Proposal:

Since we are leaving around 10 acres of space (green blocks) for future development, I thought IF we have time, then we should work together on building a community center (light purple) that would have a restaurant, grocery/department store, pharmacist, auditorium and other facilities that the community could share as a whole. The grocery store could also sell organic farm produce from within the village itself. It would be placed near the main parking lot and is walking distance from the school and hospital. The undeveloped areas (green) are most likely to be developed into a residential area which also makes it conveniently located. 

Modified Main Road Map

Aim: Discourage vehicles by having very few main roads and more pedestrian lanes and bicycle paths.
  1. There are two main roads, one that goes to the hospital and another that goes directly to the school.
  2. I removed the main roads from around the school so that there is less noise/pollution and is safer for the autistic children. Main roads around the hospital have also been removed for the same reasons.
  3. A smaller road (50ft) connect the farm to the potential CC so farm produce can be sold at the grocery store.
  4. The same road also connects the school to the therapy center (purple) and CC.     
  5. The main road from Gate 2 branches off to a 50 ft road that connects the residential area to the school and the aqua and equestrian therapy area.
  6. Parallel to that there is a 50 ft road going through the city center that is strategically placed for further development and contraction vehicles.
  7. These main roads will break off into smaller branches and bicycle paths for convenience.                         
* smaller parking area will be needed for the school
* hospital and potential CC share main parking lot
* residential group has to allocate land for the main roads (since you guys have 6 acres)

A High Functioning Autistic Individual

For Ruchika and Kamini and group - Dr Nalini Menon

Dr. Nalini Menon,

Principal Head,

Rainbow Centre for Autism

Spastics Society of Karnataka

Phone number: 9845050414 (?)


Dr.Ashok Mysore V - Professor of Psychiatry

Important contacts:

Dr. Ashok MV: 080-22065290, 080-25526365, 080-25505858, (0)9945561733

The St.John’s National Academy of Health Sciences ( has a large green campus right in the heart of the city. You will appreciate a stroll through the flora / fauna of the campus as also its various research and clinical centers. The St.John’s Research Institute ( and the upcoming St.John’s Institute for Children with Special Needs are some of the several aspects that we are very proud of.

For Ruchika and Kamini and group - 1.

The numbers are not available but this is the department - you could try to catch them on follow up day if you can get an appointment - I am still trying to get the numbers.

Process Charts - Koyal R, Kamini R, Sasha G, Daniella AV, Ruchika VN

We made two process charts: one for the process of turning a neurotypical "can't" into a "can" and another for turning an autistic "can't" into a "can".

Neurotypical Process Chart

The "can't" we chose: People can't not eat in the biological way (i.e. chewing and swallowing bit by bit)

The concept: The idea emerged when I mentioned that I can't stand the fact that we have to eat three times every single day for the rest of our lives and we can't avoid the task either because our bodies require it. We decided to invent a hypothetical food pill called Bolt: Food of the Future because eating would now be lightning fast. Our process of turning this "can't" into a "can" basically involves the steps we propose, over a long period of time, to help people get accustomed to popping pills instead of eating solid food. Of course, it's completely optional and people can eat solid food whenever they're in the mood or all the time if that's preferable. Our process is displayed in the form of a time line that runs from 2011 to 2030. We've also included steps to combat psychological hunger such as using a stress ball to displace the chewing motion and compensate for its absence. Also, blue packaging and eating in blue rooms for a few years because it is said that the color blue kills appetite. The pills are flavorless as taste can lead to a craving to continuously pop pills. Please read further details on the chart.

Feedback: It was suggested to us that we should include medical data and consequences as well seeing that we've concentrated mainly on tackling the psychological effects of doing away with solid food. Also, we were told to include stats of some nature, such as percentage of people who find eating tiresome and time consuming. Also, our chart was more like an advertisement than an infographic.

Bolt: Food of the Future

Autistic Process Chart

The "can't" we chose: Autistic people find it difficult to recognize facial expressions.

The concept: We decided any improvement to an autistic child's social interaction would have to be achieved through a collaborative effort between the autistic child and the caregiver/counselor where the neurotypical would clearly have to make a greater effort, not only to perform his own steps in our process but also to facilitate the autistic child's steps in the process. On one side, the autistic child would use the help of flashcards (emoticons to understand basic emotions of happy and sad), sketches (to understand a slightly larger variety of expressions) and finally photographs (to understand expressions on real human faces) in that order to improve his understanding of expressions. On the other hand, the caregiver would use verbal association for actions (such as hug = love) and the next step would be to try and establish eye contact as much as possible with the child to improve social interaction skills. The green band that runs in the middle is to signify that communication between the two is the key to this two-way process being a success and the steps will be of no use until this path of communication and understanding is achieved. Please read further details on the chart.

Feedback: Again, we were told to include more researched data like statistics. Also, we were told that we could be not be sure of the fact that establishing eye contact could be an actual step in our process because it could be a consequence of an intrinsic change in the child that has been caused by some other trigger.

Recognizing Faces

Ruchika Nambiar


HEY! I and Sasha made this road plan for the village. cause all three groups might have different road arrangements. Inbox me or Sasha if you want a change in it. the black lines indicate the roads. We'll add more roads later, but these are the main ones for now. Hope they're fine.

AVP Final Layout

Alannah's blog

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Cheap and Portable Furniture made out of Paper/Cardboard: Karton Group


In Europe, KARTON means Cardboard. In Australia, KARTON means forgetting 
everything you think you know about cardboard. 

KARTON is what you get when you leave a stack of cardboard sheets 
alone in a room with some of Europe’s brightest engineers.
KARTON is affordable, durable and beautiful. It's also 100% recyclable.
Move it, flatten it, store it or leave it exactly where it is.

Discover the flexibility and convenience of a dining table you can carry 

across the room, a bed you can flatten when your guests head home 
and a kid's table that relishes a lick of paint!
KARTON is about keeping things simple and easy - proof that quality European 
design can also be cheap and accessible. It's available exclusively online, 
so there's no middle-man. 


The Paperpedic Bed can be folded into its shape through some simple steps.

The Lamb Shelf                            
The Berlin Method- Eins (shelf) :                                                             
These are just three examples of this foldable type of cardboard furniture. 
There are many more on the website -


INFOGRAPHIC : Solutions to the problem of communication amongst autistic people- By Meghna, Shrujana,Natasha, Anubha and Kanak.

Our solutions were-
1. Picture Cards to show basic everyday needs of the autistic person.
2. Sign Language
3. Technical Assistance: a gadget coded with sound, so whenever the autistic person presses a certain button the particular sound alerts the caretaker/parent/guardian to the autistic person's needs at that moment. It could be a small device that they can carry around with themselves at all time.
Approximately 50% of autistic people are non verbal, and these solutions can go a long way in making day to day interactions a little less troublesome for them. Communication is one "can't" that we are trying to turn into a "can."

Division of Services

Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, behavior therapy, speech therapy, social integration therapy, sensory integration therapy, vocational training (mainly school – intervention)

Pharmaceuticals, Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment, Allopathy? Homeopathy? Ayurveda?

Sensory integration therapy, assistive technology therapy, art-touch-drama-music therapy

Spiritual therapy, farms (GFCF)

Play therapy (also hospital and school.)

ABA – school
Vocational training - primarily school, secondarily hospital
Biomedical intervention - hospital
RDI - school
VBA - school
Maskurgova method – school
Stemcell intervention – hospital

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

HEXAYURT by Samrudhii, Huma, Swati, Sonali and Rashmi.

Building area: 166 sq ft
Length of the rectangle: 4ft
Breath of the rectangle: 8ft (the size of each side)
Height of the triangle: 8ft

This hexayurt is meant for two people. It has proper cross ventilation along with being surrounded by greenery so as to be able to provide a proper environment for the people living in it. We have also tried to place a dog so as to help in the child’s development and also as a recreation. The bathroom has not been included in the hexayurt and has been attached as an outside entity as we have looked at the place as a village, a community as a whole. As to ensure that each bathroom is shared by two hexayurts. Also the waste generated is used to further generate gas in terms of biogas, the underground panels help provide gas to all the houses. Even the pipelines of the bathroom and kitchen are joined so that all the waste can get accumulated in one area. We are made our best efforts to ensure that there is no sharp object in the house so as to ensure the safe keeping of the residents of the house. We have tried to make this hexayurt as portable as possible, by using portable furniture so as to enhance the feature. We have used the bed as a whole by providing it with storage space so as to be able to eliminate the cupboard and increase the walking space. Overall we have tried to keep as much free space as possible so as to be able to provide space for recreational activities. We have even placed a white board so as to help the child in general development as he can use it for whatever purpose he wishes to. The roof has been used to help enhance solar electricity by placing panels on the roof of every hexayurt in the entire village.

Temporary Shelters - an alternative to Hexayurts

These shelters have been designed specifically for disaster relief by Shigeru Ban Architects. I thought these were interesting shapes to work with in addition to the hexayurts. You can see and read more about them hereI also like the way the architects have used local material for each shelter, for example, the Indian shelter is made of bamboo and rubble. 

Kamini Rao

The 1943 Leo Kanner Paper

The 1943 paper in The Nervous Child
I only read the first case in the '43 and '71 papers: Donald's case. They're mostly the same, the '43 one is just more detailed and of course, the '71 paper has details about what happened to him later. 

Ruchika Nambiar

Lesson notes for July 26

Watched most of Temple Grandin's film. It was worth watching or, as in my case, re-watching.


Residential area:
Sasha, Sonali, Anubha, Natasha, Akriti, Aaniya, Achala, Shrujana

Megha, Koyal, Kanak, Daniella, Meghna, Ananya, Durga,Ratika

Ruchika, Swati, Huma, Aneri, Mariya, Kusha, Rashmi, Samruddhii, Kamini

Ratika, Shrujana, Durga

Others you could approach for information or feedback or help:
Srishti staff or alumni -
Deepta Satheesh (Urban planning)
Danika Cooper (Space management/ architectural planning)
Agnishikha (Furniture and interiors)
Mary Jacob (Furniture and interiors)
Srinivasan K (GPS, GIS, Google maps, google earth, eco-frinedliness, environmental planning,cost effectivenness etc... )
Srishti wellness team

Dr Veronica Mathias (Autism Society of India)
Dr Kavita Sharma (Autism Society of India)

Hypothetical scenario for project.


· Family 1: Father, mother, daughter and son (1-4 years). Age: 5-9 years. (Rett’s)

· Family 2: Mother and son. Age:1-4years.(Classic autism) (moderate)

· Family 3: Father, mother and son. Age:9-13 years (Aspergers)

· Family 4: Care giver and teenager. Age: 14-20. Atypical autism (severe)

· Family 5: Father and son. Age: 20+. Autism(functional)

· Family 6: Father, mother, care giver, two daughters (30 and 18) and a son. Age: 20-30 years. Autism(moderate)

· Orphan (M) and Poor woman (F). Age: 30+(M) 40+(F)

· Mother (Neurotypical). Age: 70+

· Autistic son. Age: 50+. Autism (moderate)


  • Communication Deall (Only autistic) Dr. Prathibha Karanth.
  • ASHA KIRAN (Special Education School) Mrs. Rita James
  • ASHA (Severe handicaps and autism) Dr. Jayshree Ramesh
  • Schools which are ready to take an autistic child. Mr. J's wife
  • Psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors.
  • Therapists, special educators, teachers


· NIMHANS. (Dr. Shobha Srinath, Dr. Shekar Seshadhri)

  • St.Johns. (Dr.Ashok M)
  • Spastic Society of Karnataka. (Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, Dr. Rukmini K.)
  • Psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors.
  • Therapists


  • White field, Prestige Epsilons.
  • Jalvayu Vihar and Sena Vihar.
  • Create from scratch.

Choose land from Google earth. Use Google maps (accessibility).

Monday, 25 July 2011

Neurotypical vs. Autistic. Akriti, Megha, Ratika, Aaniya.

Our assignment was to look at things one can and cannot do being a neurotypical person versus being a person with Autism. As a group we brainstormed and came up with a wide range of things that one can and cannot do, putting ourselves in an autistic person's shoes. At the end we realized that there really isn't such a thing as can and cannot, as a 'cannot' can always be changed into a 'can', which is what we are working on next.

Leo Kanner who gave autism its name and diagnosed it correctly, talking on autistic adults

Geodesic Dome Tutorial by Daniella

A small tutorial video of how to make a geodesic dome on Google Sketchup since I noticed that there wasn't one up anyway. :)
This dome is made using a decagon (10 sided polygon) as a base where it has a radius of 10 feet.The angle for the quarter is 90 and the angle for the replicated half is 180 degrees.
I'm sorry the measurements aren't completely visible in the video.

The man in the images is about 5' 10" just to give you a sense of scale.

Another alternative to replicating the quarter is to make each quarter which will give you the same result :)

Must look at site


Different Like Me - Jennifer Elder

I was curious. Found this book on the net by Jennifer Elder mentioned in the podcast.

Ruchika Nambiar

Mind Map Exploring the abilities and disabilities of Neurotypicals vs Autistic People- Meghna, Natasha, Kanak, Shrujana, Anubha.

Another important link

Portable Hexayurt-Aneri, Kusha, Kanak, Mariya, Natasha

Our basic plan was to make the Hexayurt (using 12’*6’ panels) portable along with being eco-friendly and cost effective. Following are the ways in which we have tried to do so.


The material we used is OSB sheets because:
·         It’ cost effective; 1 sheet of 4x8 ft. can be bought for about Rs. 200-300.
·         It is eco-friendly; it’s made from wood shavings, which are chipped off while making wooden products, along with glue.
·         It is sturdy; the wood is highly compressed, giving it strength.
Outdoor Varnish is applied to the OSB sheets to protect it from the sun and water.
Polyken 824 Shrink Wrap Tape (Polyethylene Film) is used because:
·         It is UV protected for prolonged sun exposure
·         It is water proof
Rain Water Harvesting:
·         There are rubber gutters attached to the roof. The outer edges are held up by strings hooked to the roof. Thus the gutters can be folded along with the hexayurt.
·         There is a rubber pipe that will take the water to a storage box for the water; which is connected to a pump.



·         Foldable bed: There is one foldable metal framed single bed which may be put away when not in use
·         Sofa cum bed: There is one sofa cum bed, where two people can sleep, and which can be used as seating when folded up.


o       Shelves:
·         Along one wall there are two parallel shelves. The upper shelf is at table level (3 ft.) and the left end is meant to be a kitchen counter. The lower shelf is 5’6”long, and it ends before the right end so that the right end can be used as a table with leg space.
·         These shelves are inserted into the hexayurt through slits in the wall. The outer edges of the shelves (outside the hexayurt) are thicker to support their weight. And there are triangular supports every two feet on the inside that can be screwed on.
·         They are also made of OSB sheets, and while travelling can be completely detached from the hexayurt
·         The cupboard has the framework of a portable bookshelf with two stands on the sides and detachable shelves. There are drawers with handles and locks which fit into these shelves; that can be used to keep clothes and personal/valuable items.
·         While travelling, the drawers can be carried like suitcases while the frame is detached and carried.
·         There is also an option of attaching wheels to the bottom and carrying it in one piece depending on the cupboard size.
·         These are all concepts and may need improvements.


·         Foldable chair: There is one foldable chair that can be placed near the table area of the shelf. Depending on the needs of the user more can be added.
·         Chatai (Rug): There is a rug placed on which the owners can sit while dining.
·         Sofa cum bed: Also the sofa cum bed can be used for lounging.


·         We have used rubber pipes throughout the hexayurt due to its wide availability, versatility and cheapness.
·         Drainage pipe: There is one drainage pipe that splits and collects water from the bathroom and from the sink. This pipe goes outside the house and may be connected to pre-existing drainage or be led to a garden/waste area/water body/open unused space as it only has domestic waste.
·         Supplying pipe: There is also one supplying pipe which splits into two. One goes to the sink and one to the bathroom. The source of the pipe is open and it can be fixed to the rain water storage pump or a tank/pre-existing water source.


Water and Sanitation:

·         Shower heads: The supply pipes can be attached to detachable hand shower heads. Inside the hexayurt, there are two metal loops in the bathroom and above the sink to hold the hand shower when it is attached, from where it can be pulled out to use.
·         Shower trays: In the bathroom there is a 2’x2’ plastic tray on a 6” stand. The tray has a drainage hole leading to the drainage pipe. It is on a stand so that the drainage water flows out.
·         Portable toilets: These are not very expensive, hygienic and convenient to use.   
·         Sink: The sink is a bowl that can be placed on the upper shelf. There is a hole in the shelf under the sink through which the drainage pipe can be connected.
·         Drinking water: Solar water pasteurisation may be used for purification of water or means of rain water harvesting if required.

Appliances and Electricity:

·         Lighting: Battery operated CCFL tubes and LED lamps are eco friendly, extremely durable and cheap.
·         Portable Table fans/heaters and mini fridge also have changeable batteries as well as plugs in case of external electricity availability. The table fan is blade-less.
·         Gas: For cooking, we have used a camping gas but there is also an option of using a wood gas.
·         There are cavities placed in the walls in case there is a requirement of a plug point.
·         We did not use solar energy because it is expensive, not very cost effective and dependent on climate.

Doors and Windows:
·         The door and the frames of windows are of OSB sheets. Windows are made of glass.
·         The windows and doors are pre-attached with hinges to the hexayurt.

 We have tried to design the interior space in such a way, that the autistic spectrum has scope to live in an open and healthy environment. There is enough space in the house for two to three people to live and move around in. Where in, an autistic child can live with his parents and still have space for play. Therefore, the portable house is also homely. 
The Hexayurt is completely portable, not very expensive and mostly eco friendly.