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SuMin Nam

New York, New York, United States

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Lesson Plan for students with aspergers syndrome

    Communication, Communication Design

    Title: Design Charrette for teenagers with aspergers syndrome

    Grade level: high school

    Category: Product Design, Design research, market research

    Subject Area: Communication

    Introduction: Design Charrette for teenagers with aspergers syndrome is to bring ideas together with NFP visually. By doing this, I seek for coming up with new ideas to help individual with aspergers syndrome to look into themselves and each others. Also, possibly promote the issues of individuals with Aspergers syndrome are having and address their problematic within the society. Through this charrette, I hope to develop something I could help them with their mind-sets, communication skills, and their behaviors when they confront difficulties they face in their life.


    • To identify the areas of individuals with AS faced
    • To understand their needs and learn what’s there for them
    • How to teach individuals with AS to accept losses, listen to others, wait for the turn, and respect others; basics of social interaction
    • The main goal is for students to have conversation, negotiate, compromise and building relationships
    • To identify the weakness and strengths of today’s system, products for students with AS


    • My plan is to first meet with special education teacher I’ve known for long to create Charrette to bring out ideas, criticism, and experience. Then with that built-up charrette, I’d like to do it again or build-up more with my NFP; where I could possibly do it with more...
  • Revised mission statement

    Community, Communication Design

    I would like to improve the lives of teenagers with asperger's syndrome, so that they can improve their sociability and adaptability within the society.

    Areas of opportunities are focusing on social communication, communication cues, social interaction, social imagination and self-controlling. I decided to go for teenagers with aspergers syndrome from children with aspergers syndrome because aspergers syndrome is not something that can be found when individuals are like 18 months to 2 years old like autism. Individuals can be diagonosed with the syndrome when they are older. When teenagers are diagonosed with this syndrome, they could set their mind-set that they will never do things like others do. Specially during teenage years, they crave for social relationships with others. Therefore, to support them and encourage them to interact with others, I could develop something for them.

  • NFP

    Community, Communication Design

    GRASP: The global and regional aspergers syndrome partnership : This non-profit organization work with adults and teens with aspergers syndrome to improve their lives through community outreach, peer supports, education, and advocacy.

    I have met Michael John Carley, who is the executive director of the organization, and talked about how he could help me with my project and what I need from them, etc. He provided me with the lectures those will be held on Nov.6th and 12th to get more ideas, and inspirations. After attending those two lectures, I will go in again and do charrette with this group about areas of opportunities, needs, and more in depth.

  • The key findings of research on aspergers syndrome

    Community, Communication Design

    Aspergers syndrome is an autism spectrum which is a hidden disability where you can't tell someone has the condition from their appearance.

    Major difficulties in social communication, social interaction, social imagination also, understanding facial expression, tone of voice, body language, dyslexia, love of routines, obsessive, sensory difficulties.

    Social Skills is what requires sharing, listening, good manners, responsibilties, and caring. Through social skills develops, communication, language, and the understanding of words develop. They should learn to have conversation -> debate-> negotiation -> compromise -> the building of relationships ( basic concept of Floortime)

    Facial Blindness in school, teacher have real pictures of people with faces, and explain the feelings, emotions through words or tell them social stories and act in order to help them to understand better.

    Hard for teachers express and identify feelings through picture and to teach those to students


    • counseling: teaching strategies to have better social communication with peers/ initial conversation/ starting conversation
    • speech: for articulation, learning how to interact with others ( ex. exchange conversation in 5 turns)
    • occupational is done o have fine motor skills (ex. cutting, hand writing)
    • physical therapy (only if needed, for postures and balance


    • art is done in small groups to force kids to work with each other and to interact with peers
    • academic; is smilar...
  • characteristics of individuals with AS

    Community, Communication Design

    • Intense absorption in a topic or field of interest -Inability to read nonverbal communications such as facial expressions, body gestures, and shifting vocal tones
    • professorial, monotoned manner of speaking
    • discomfort or inability at small talk. sees no logic in it.
    • difficulty in recognizing faces, " face-blinded"
    • motor skills issues such as illegible handwriting and poor coordination, balance, and bodily rhythm.
    • inflexibility. need for routine. dislikes change.
    • greater than normal abilities at math, science, art, or music.
    • problems with imagination
    • problems with nonartistic activities or fields of study
    • poor ability at eye contact
    • says whatever comes into their head, unaware of the potential damage the statement might cause
    • penchant for interrupting others
    • sensory issues: difficulty processing certain types of lighting, certain smells, tastes, fabrics, or noises
    • stimming: involuntary reflex actions such as flapping the hands or feet, rocking or making noises.
    • difficulty in staying on a topic and following the thread of the ongoing conversation
    • repeating of favorite topics or songs; watching favored movies repeatedly
    • difficulty understanding figures of speech, euphemisms, and analogies
    • bad at processing recently learned information
    • "shutdowns", or in more dramatic situations, meltdowns
    • difficulty understanding "consequences" of behavioral differences
    • Long monologues when the other person in the conversation wants them to stop
    • is fooled easily
    • di...
  • Thorough Mapping exercise

    Community, Communication Design

    I revised my map and revisited NFP. As I was doing researches, I could see how asperger syndrome's characteristics were often seen within ourselves, a little bit at least. So, I looked for what's in the market for releasing stress and calming anxiety, teaching cause and effects, etc as leasted under research in the image.

  • NFP contacts

    Community, Communication Design

    I'm meeting up with two NFPs: GRASP and AMAC.

    GRASP: The global and regional aspergers syndrome partnership

    : I talked to the executive director, Michael John Carley and set a meeting on 10/30/08 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss about if he could collaborate with me for my thesis project. This meeting really excites me because this organization is one of the biggest organization for aspergers syndrome. I think I could learn much from them.

    AMAC: Association for metroarea autistic children, INC

    : I talked to one of the teacher working there, and she'll be helping me out throughout this project. I'm meeting her during this week. This is a school located in New York 17th street. Through them, I could spot how students with autistic spectrum are taught in school and their needs, etc.

  • By the NumbErs ##

    Community, Environmental Design

    DSM-IV, Diagonostic and Statistical manual of mental disorders reports

    • prevalence of autism to be 2 to 5 cases per 10,000 people
    • there are now more individuals with autism than with Down's syndrome or blindness, which the statistics have been reported range from 2 per 10,000 to as high as 11.6 per 10,000.

    • 9 affected individuals with PDDs ( pervasive developmental disorders) per 1,000 births.

    • In the United Kingdom, a prevalence rate of 62.6 per 10,000 ( or 5 to 6 per 1,000) was determined for ASDs. ( ASD is the 5 subcategorical diagnoses that encompass the domain of a PDD: autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett's disorder, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder)

    • 16.8 per 10,000 ( or nearly 2 per 1,000) of individuals with autistic disorder, with the remaining 45.8 per 10,000 have a range of PDDs.

    • 26 percent occurrence rate (comorbidity) of mental retardation with a PDD.

    These statistics are providing how there are many individuals with ASD in our society and how it is growing so much. Only greater society will be created when society could use them with higher priority.

  • Questionaire/Survey

    Community, Communication Design

    Questions that I asked were

    1. What is your background on Asperger’s syndrome? In other words, do you yourself have, know someone who has, or have heard of this syndrome?
    2. How much or what do you know about asperger’s syndrome?
    3. When you first meet someone new, how do you greet him or her and become friends?
    4. When you are or were in school, was there someone singled out as ‘weird’ or ‘strange’? if then, for what reasons?
    5. How do you feel if someone doesn’t understand or realize your emotions?
    6. What sort of activities did you engage in with your friends when you were in elementary school?
    7. If you don’t mind being contacted with more questions, please leave your email address or another way to contact you.

    I sent out the questions to classmates and others not in art fields (29/35). After I conducted this survey, I realized how majority of people did not know about asperger’s syndrome, just like me, however few people have heard of the term through their classes, and one told that she was diagnosed with this syndrome when she was five. My 3rd question of how to greet someone when first meets, most of them answered as to find common interests, give each other attentions, and smiles on the face. The question of why there was someone singled out, people answered that they acted differently, due to their physical appearance, and too quiet. Many of them said they get frustrated, lonely, and uncomfortable when someone doesn’t realize their emotions. Social interaction is im...

  • Existing Products

    Community, Environmental Design


    A. Grocery store game : This game presents fun, and educational approach to grocery shoppings included shopping litsts and game board for matching into categories. It also provie players to apply basic math skills and reinforcing daily living skills and independence.

    B. Faces and Feelings : This game is to teach feelings with audio that explores the look and the tone of emotions as kids match what they hear on the CD to pictures of kid's faces showing different expressions. Emotions depicted include happy, angry,scared, worried, in trouble, excited and more.

    C. Social skills picture book : This picture book demonstrate various social skills into concret steps for children with Asperger Syndrome or those who have difficulties with auditory and language processing. It help children to understand what is happening and why people think and feel the way they do in particular social situation. The situations include greeting; listening; interrupting; asking to play; turn taking; sharing; keep calm; and trying when its hard; among others. This book is to teach social behavior


My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design