Towards a toolkit to empower young autistic adults: Using grounded theory to analyze ten design case studies

Niels van Huizen, Thijs Waardenburg, Nathalie Overdevest, Jelle van Dijk, Wouter Staal, Mascha C. van der Voort

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Assistive technologies (ATs) are increasingly proposed to support young autistic individuals (YAAs) in daily life. Yet, the uptake of these technologies remains
limited. Most ATs are designed for and by non-autistic people, which makes them less usable for YAAs. Moreover, ATs specifically designed for YAAs are often part of formal therapy or training and typically aim to mitigate and rectify ‘problematic’ autistic behavior. In the research project Design Your Life, we are working with YAAs to develop a co-design toolkit that will help them create a personalized environment to support their independence. By now, we have completed ten design case studies, each deploying a different version of the toolkit. In this paper, we report on the insights that we gained from these case studies, for which we used a grounded theory approach. In total, we identified ten categories of knowledge that will inform the development of a single, final toolkit.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventDRS 2022 - Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 25 Jun 20223 Jul 2022


ConferenceDRS 2022
Internet address


  • Design Your Life
  • Grounded Theory
  • Research-through-design
  • co-design

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