Telescope for Autistic 8 year old

Oct 2, 2020
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Hi, I'm looking to buy a telescope for my son who is a space fanatic. He is autistic and struggles to look through the eye pieces of ordinary telescopes. I was wondering if it was possible to buy one with a wide eye piece? I know you can get kids ones but I want to get him a decent one that he can continue to use as he grows. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Jun 1, 2020
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You may get, hopefully, better advice for your circumstance, but you might want to begin with the following....

Here is a GoTo Dobsonian that might be a good start to help the discussion. Dobsonian telescopes are about the best bang for the buck since you get a large objective (mirror dia.) which provides best resolution and makes dim objects (stars) more easily seen. Greater magnification is a given with diameter.

IMO, Dobsonian's may be a little more comfortable to view by sitting in an observer's chair since it avoids a tripod mount design.

Most Dobs typically require the user to physically move the tube around to find the object desired. This may be an issue for our autistic friends. Some systems have ways to guide the user to make it easier than using the guide scope or finder. But you may prefer one that allows you to input what object you desire and then it will automatically go to the object so no physical touching is required, except for the initial setup of the scope. This adds to the cost, of course.

Refractors are very popular and they often include electric clock drive systems. They may take a little more time and effort to get set-up however. Others may want to elaborate on this point.

Also look for a 2" focuser, preferably a 2-speed focuser for easier focusing. The standard size is 1.25" for the smaller scopes. You will also need to upgrade to the 2" diameter eyepieces as many with that larger focuser come with an adapter for their standard 1.25" lenses they provide. Most packages have adequate lenses except for the diameter that I think you may want.

If your budget has wiggle room, the better the lenses the happier you will be long term. Great lenses can be used in any future telescope, so some like to upgrade to higher lens quality. This may not be necessary with any beginning system, however.

Here is one example of an Observer's chair that allows adjustment of the seat up and down to match the eyepiece level. Sitting is highly recommended, as mentioned earlier, to avoid touching the scope and I try to get any visitor to sit down first before attempting to view since they can observe longer with much greater comfort.
 
Jun 1, 2020
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Hi Helio
Thank you so much for the advice, I will have a look at dobsonians.
Marie
It's worth mentioning that the refractors, or SCTs, often allow one to sit more often compared to the mid-sized to larger Dobs because the eyepiece on the Dobs is near the top of the scope. The best views are of objects high in the sky, so less atmospheric issues. If your choice has the eyepiece within sitting range, then the Dob may still be your best choice.
 

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