The Unofficial Archive

Playing with Impulses by Anne Ligtenberg

Playing with Impulses

Photo by Femke Rijerman

People with autism have trouble filtering impulses; the world remains a jumbled mass of competing information. They strive to create order. It can be hard enough for others to understand what autism entails – let alone children. Anne Ligtenberg discovered that children of autistic parents often feel guilty for causing flare-ups, even though it’s not their fault. She designed a game to help them identify with their parent’s behaviour. By arranging decorated wooden blocks into different patterns, kids can mirror the parent’s need for order. To succeed, they have to single out certain motifs and ignore others, just as autistics must focus on one thing at a time to function.

Anne Ligtenberg