The Autism team created the Empathy Box @ Design for America

The Autism team created the Empathy Box, a collaborative storytelling tool to build empathy for families affected by autism.  They had originally focused their project on the design of learning spaces for children with autism.  However, through attending parent support groups they realized that the broader problem is a lack of understanding about autism and their children’s needs and behaviors.  The Empathy Box helps families share their stories and build understanding, creating new advocates within the community.  Parents and children fill the box with their stories and artifacts that reflect their experience, pass it on, and repeat.  Each box is tracked and documented, eventually returned to DFA to be uploaded onto to build a gallery of stories.  The team launched the Empathy Box at the Autism Project’s annual Imagine Walk, where they distributed 150 boxes!  The team has received several grants and will be continuing their work through the year.