- An autistic child is a child who has a functional brain disruption, causing the child to have difficulty in carrying out social interactions with his/her environment because they live “in their own world”. Disturbances in brain function can also have a negative impact in the learing process of the child. Even though children with autism have such disabilities and limitations, the characteristics of children who like to play and explore do not disappear, thus, games become one of the most effective learning and therapeutic methods for them. There are many games that can be used as learning media for children with autism, one of them are puzzles. However, in reality, there are not many puzzle games today that address the needs of autistic children which can support their learning process and serve as therapy for fine motoric skills in children. In accordance with the problems above, a puzzle game was designed to be used as a medium for learning and at the same time as a way of therapy of fine motorc skills for autistic children. To find the specific needs of children with autism for this game, data was collected by conducting an initial survey in the form of questionnaires and interviews with therapists and teachers who handle autistic children in two autistic schools in Surabaya, Indonesia. Then, after knowing what the needs are, they were entered into a needs metrics table to study the most appropriate way to fulfil them. The results of these needs metrics will be used as a basis for developing the concepts of this product. The product concept selection, then, underwent three stages, namely, concept generation, concept selection, and concept testing. After selecting the definitive concept, calculations were made to compute material costs, making product prototypes, economic analysis, and product testing. The product testing was carried out with children with early or basic autism using a prototype of the product that resembled the original. This trial was conducted to get feedback from the instructor/therapist about whether this product is in accordance with the needs of children with autism. The results of the conducted trial, which was mainly in the form of feedback, showed that 100% said that the product was safe, 90% that the function of the toy was clear, 80% said the instructions were easy to follow, 100% said it was durable, 100% said it was unique, 100% said it was attractive, 60% said it was easy to carry, 80% said it had suitable dimensions, 90% said it was easy to store, and 100% said that “Edufunzle” (the name given to the product) could be used as learning media and as fine motoric therapy with autistic children. However, 60% of the respondents said that the price of the product was still too expensive, and suggested that the price of this product could be more economical.
Keywords: autistic children, puzzle, motoric skills therapy, need metric, product concept