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Just like any other person, children with autism need products and services that fit their needs and experiences. Imagine you are briefed to design a product or service for non-verbal children with autism, while you have no experience whatsoever with the user group. You might search on the internet for more information, watch the Hollywood production Rainman, or look for books that explain these children’s behaviour. However, the way that children with autism truly think and act is left up to your imagination. Direct contact or an encounter is the only means to come closer to the needs and experiences of these children. This dissertation investigates how designers can have meaningful encounters with these children and their caregivers to inform and inspire new product development. It describes a framework, several tools and techniques, and a set of guidelines for practice.