June 15, 2020

Thompson Autism Center at CHOC Children's Featured in Healthcare Design's Mental Health Issue

The center is one of few autism-specific clinics in the country, providing much-needed resources for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

The feature story in the June/July issue of Healthcare Design magazine speaks about how the Thompson Autism Center at Children’s Hospital of Orange County will help evaluate children with ASD earlier in life, and promote better outcomes. It focuses on the extensive research conducted that resulted in evidence-based design solutions for lighting, artwork, color, sound and signage that make the sensory overload of a doctor’s office more calming for ASD children.

Our Hilary Thomas-Herd, an interior designer who worked on the project, noted how helpful the research of Dr. Shireen Kanakri, director of the Health Environment Design Research Lab at Ball State University, was to the design process. “She provided valuable research regarding color, imagery and acoustics and their affect on autistic children.”

Matthew Lazari, executive director of the Center, highlighted how the entire design kept the ASD child’s experience in mind. “The thing I love about the center is that you don’t walk into a sterile environment, because the entire facility was designed to provide a comfortable, non-threatening environment for children who sense the world differently.”

Read the full piece here >