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Jesse Resnick

New York, NY, United States

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Bibliography

    Communication

    • Baggs, A M. "Being a Spatial Thinker: One Kind of Autistic Thought." Autistics.org. 1999. 26 Sept. 2008 <http://www.autistics.org/library/spatial.html>.

    Relevancy: This article is fascinating – it is written by an autistic person, and he basically attempts to explain how he thinks. The article gives first-hand insight into the autistic mind, specifically focusing around spatial and three-dimensional thinking processes.

    • Caron, M J, L. Mottron, C. Rainville, and S. Chouinard. "Do High Functioning Persons with Autism Present Superior Spatial Abilities?" Neuropsychologia 42 (2004): 467-81.

    Relevancy: The author discusses the results of a scientific experiment comparing the spatial abilities of high-functioning autistic individuals with typically developed individuals. The two parties performed at a relatively equal level; however the autistic individuals excelled in the mapping exercises. The author proposes that autistic individuals have a superior ability to recognize patterns and landmarks. This article provides quantifiable evidence of an autistic person’s spatial abilities. It is a great resource to provide evidence backing up my hypotheses.

    • Edgin, Jamie O., and Bruce F. Pennington. "Spatial Cognition in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Superior, Impaired, or Just Intact?" Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 35 (2005): 729-45.

    Relevancy: A study comparing autistic children to typically developing children, focusing on spatial recognition/understanding in relation to two different theories. The article is helpful because it addresses more than one theory, and provides quantitative evidence of abilities. It will be another source to draw from in creating an informed hypothesis.

    • Mitchell, P., and Danielle Ropar. "Visuo-Spatial Abilities in Autism." ESRC Society Today. 10 Mar. 2005. Economic & Social Research Council. 26 Sept. 2008 <http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/esrcinfocentre/viewoutputpage.aspx?data=v9xrjlj6xhhdbq3p%2btuda7zzf9804g1840scl%2fjh5%2b1fvl1dc27%2baq985zfy1qor1liiwrtfgxogckehl6gxjfbb9lpisnxoa7utpj6hrxc%3d&xu=0&isawardholder=&isprofiled=&awardholderid=&sector=>.

    Relevancy: There is a popular theory on autistic individuals called ‘Weak Central Coherence’ – meaning they have trouble gathering together and synthesizing bits of information. Mitchell/Ropar debate this theory, citing specific examples of spatial understanding that prove autistic individuals can effectively synthesize bits of information. This is a very relevant topic to look into, and will help provide information on how an autistic individual understands and processes information.

    • Sussman, Jaqueline L. "What is Autism." Total Health Feb. 2008: 28-31.

    Relevancy: A basic overview of autism – including its scientific definition, signs, behaviours, etc. A new method of image therapy is also discussed – it uses photographs to enhance the social abilities of autistic individuals. The basic overview of autism is very helpful and concise; the image therapy discussion is also extremely interesting, and presents a potential opportunity for further research/ideation, especially when considering autistic children.

    • Wolman, David. "The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider what they Think they Know." Wired Feb. 2008. Wired. 02 Feb. 2008. 26 Sept. 2008 <http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/16-03/ff_autism?currentpage=all>.

    Relevancy: This was one of the first articles I found on autism, and it sparked my interest in spatial abilities. It is a relatively unbiased article (it does not focus on only ‘savants’ or low-functioning individuals) and provides insightful thoughts from an autistic individual.

  • Jesse, Great bibliography. I am really fascinated by this question, too. So, once you have really mastered the literature on the behavioral and cognitive aspects of autism, with particular focus on enhanced spatial abilities in autistic kids, what's next? Will you work on a product that could be used by an autistic person to alleviate symptoms of the syndrome(?) or to generally improve their functional level, or an assistive device that someone would use to manage their life while lacking social skills or even the ability to speak. There could be interesting augmented communication ideas here...quite a lot has been done on systems for people with motor impairments or cognitive issues, but I am not sure if that's true for autistic kids. Or, you could go in a completely different direction and start to develop learning aids that were especially targeted to that audience. I know that its very difficult to get autistic kids to engage long enough to be able to carry out an adequate usability test, so you have to look for other ways to measure success with that population. We can talk about this on Monday. steven

  • Thank you for your response, Steven. All of your 'what's next' ideas are interesting, and some I hadn't really considered. At this point in the process, I am really interested to see if these spatial abilities could be used in the education process. If autistic children have an inherent way of thinking, we should be taking advantage of it in working with them. In terms of user testing, hopefully I will be able to work out a solution with further research and advice from the non-profit(s).

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My Interests

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