Parents naturally want to provide the best possible environment for their children.When your child is on the autism spectrum, surroundings can make a big impact in helping her to prosper.Here are some suggestions to help you design the best possible bedroom for your child with autism.
Create zones. Creating zones in your child's bedroom can be a boon to helping her feel comfortable and thrive. Make a space dedicated to playing, another space for learning and creating, and a space for resting and sleeping. One way to separate the areas is with curtains. Curtains can also play an important role if your youngster shares a bedroom with a sibling. For instance, it's a great way to separate the children's spaces, or you can use curtains to fashion a quiet space for your child with autism in a playroom area or your living room. That way, you can be close by and interact with your child while still tending household chores and the like.
Light it right. Your child's bedroom should provide as much natural lighting as possible through skylights or windows. For an autistic child, this can mean distractions as well. Some parents opt for adding a film to windows that blurs the view but allows in sunshine. As far as light bulbs, DesignBump recommends avoiding any fluorescent bulbs when creating a bedroom for children with autism, due to the high-frequency sounds and flickering they omit. Instead, select soft light bulbs which mimic daylight. Add a dimmer switch so the room can transition in evenings from dim to darkness, mimicking natural daylight patterns. This can help your child's body synchronize sleep habits better. At night, use blackout curtains to provide the darkest sleeping environment possible.
Tone it down. Lowering the intensity of bedroom decor can be a boon to a child on the autism spectrum. Small Design Ideas suggests using soft colors in muted, matte shades, and steering clear of vibrant colors and shine. Avoid using patterns in the room as well. Opt for solid walls and solid fabrics whenever possible. If your child with autism has a favorite activity, one idea is to use a pale paint shade in the bedroom to remind him of it. For instance, if he loves playing in a sandbox, you could use light beige, or for swimmers, select pale aqua.
Sounding off. Noise can be a powerful factor in your child's comfort. Keep in mind that some sounds are soothing and some sounds are disruptive. Certain sounds can potentially be overwhelming to a child with autism, triggering frustration, inhibiting the ability to learn, and distracting your youngster. Insulating your child's bedroom can keep sounds coming from throughout the home from becoming overwhelming. Depending on how sensitive your child is, this can be as simple as hanging quilts on the walls and installing carpeting. Adding a white noise machine can help drown out unpleasant, disruptive sounds with the steady tone. Also consider adding soft balls or pads to the bottoms of chair feet to avoid the screeching noises chairs might make when dragged across flooring. Very sensitive children might require acoustic ceilings, ductwork silencers, and baffles in learning areas.
Accessorize well. When creating an autism-friendly bedroom, avoid allowing your child's space to become cluttered. Having too many toys and other belongings can be too stimulating.
When selecting items for throughout the bedroom zones, one recommendation is to use as many accessories made from natural elements as possible. In other words, instead of a plastic tote, select a wooden one. Aim for items such as wooden furniture and cork bulletin boards as well. Consider incorporating some sensory-oriented accessories, such as a swing, trampoline, or slide.
Creating a great bedroom for your youngster on the autism spectrum can feel challenging, but you can do a great job by keeping a few things in mind. Offer your child zones, select appropriate lighting and colors, reduce disruptive noises, and add well-chosen accessories. The right bedroom environment can be a key in helping your child to prosper!
Jenny Wise homeschools her four awesome children. As any homeschooling parent knows, every day is an adventure, and Jenny has begun chronicling her experiences at SpecialHomeEducator.com. She hopes to use the site to connect with other homeschoolers and to provide helpful advice to parents who may be considering a home education for their kids.