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Research conducted at The Els Center of Excellence® Reveals ASPECTSS®-Based Design’s Impact on Autism School Environments

Els for Autism® is thrilled to announce the publication of a groundbreaking research study conducted at The Els Center of Excellence®. The study, titled “The Impact of ASPECTSS®-Based Design Intervention in Autism School Design: A Case Study,” has been published in the prestigious Q1 International Journal of Architectural Research.

This work is one of the first studies globally to measure the impact of ASPECTSS®-informed intervention on autism school design.

Dr. Marlene Sotelo, Executive Director of Els for Autism, emphasizes the significance of specially designed spaces for individuals with autism to support their areas of need and maximize their areas of strength. She states, “Specialized environmental design and arrangement is essential for the success of individuals with autism in the classroom and greater school environment to promote learning and independence.”

This work was a collaboration between a team of esteemed researchers and professionals at The Els Center of Excellence and world-renowned architect Dr. Magda Mostafa. It explored the impact of ASPECTSS®-based design interventions on autism school design. ASPECTSS®, authored by and a registered trademark of Dr. Mostafa, was published in 2014. It is the world’s first research-based framework for architecture for autism and is an acronym for Acoustics, Spatial Sequencing, Escape Space, Compartmentalization, Transition, Sensory Zoning, and Safety. Together, these represent the key elements considered in designing spaces that cater to the unique needs of individuals with autism.

By implementing ASPECTSS®-based design interventions in autism school design, the research study demonstrated improvements in the overall learning experience of students with autism. The findings highlight the importance of incorporating thoughtful environmental considerations in educational facilities to support the academic, social, and emotional development of individuals on the autism spectrum.

The publication of this research study in the International Journal of Architectural Research signifies a significant step forward in advancing the field of autism education and the design of the built environment within which it is situated. Els for Autism and Magda Mostafa remain committed to sharing knowledge, promoting best practices, and advocating for inclusive educational environments that empower individuals with autism to reach their full potential.

Funding for the publication was made available through the generous support of the American University in Cairo.