The impact of improved classroom acoustics on autistic students

Processing sensory input differently, autistic students often find the noise of classrooms overwhelming. In particular, these students have consistently been found to have significant deficits in processing of speech in noise, impacting their capacity to follow instructions in noisy classrooms. Two studies conducted in special education classrooms indicated that improved acoustics could significantly improve attention and reduce response times in autistic children.

This project aims to compare the educational outcomes of autistic students with those of age- gender- and classroom-matched typically developing students when they are taught in:

(a) A classroom without an SFA

(b) A classroom with an SFA

The educational outcomes that will be the focus of the study include:

(a) Student listening and comprehension of verbal instruction

(b) Attention to task

(c) Compliance with directions

(d) Student report of ease of listening in the classroom

(e) Academic performance

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Project Leader(s)
  • Wayne Wilson, The University of Queensland
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