Playing with impulses is Anne Ligtenberg’s graduation project at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) and it’s a very special work. It’s a game for children of an autistic parent, a way to explain autism to young children.

People with autism have difficulty 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 discovered that kids of autistic parents often feel guilty for causing flare-ups, even though it’s not their fault. She decided to design a toy 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 graduate with cum laude at the DEA with this project about understanding a parent with autism.

Be sure to visit her website and discover more fascinating works.

Another interesting project about autism here.