Guest blog by Paul Denikin of Dad Knows DIY
For children on the autism spectrum, their home is an important place for respite. It’s the one place above all others that should provide them with a sense of safety and peace. However, for their parents this can be more challenging than a trip to the store for a safety gate and some cabinet locks.
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, is unique to every child. While one child may be triggered by noise, another may be stimulated by color. So finding ways to make your home perfect for your child will take time and careful consideration.
To bolster your efforts at creating the best environment for your child, we’ve found three measures that benefit every child on the spectrum.
1. Consider A Service Dog
A service dog can be specifically trained and certified to help care for an autistic child. They can attend doctor visits, family outings, school functions and any event where a child might otherwise feel stress, not to mention, a a snuggly friend in the home setting.
A service dog can help a child in a number of ways:
2. Make Space For A Sensory-Friendly Bedroom
An autistic child needs at least one room in the house where everything is perfectly suited to their needs, typically a bedroom. Consider these things in your sensory-friendly space:
3. Create An Attitudinal Environment
It’s important to evaluate the level of calm in your home. Are one or both parents stressed? Are siblings frustrated? Are you working hard to provide an environment that’s calm, comforting and has a strong sense of security?
Like most children, children with autism will follow the lead of the attitude that is predominating their environment. But with autistic children, environments permeated with stress will lead to some negative symptoms, such as decreased listening, less eye contact, more oppositional behavior and more unhappiness.
Take some important steps to make sure you’re helping your child thrive at home:
Happiness in the home starts with happy parents.
It would be so much easier if we could see through the eyes of our child to know their needs, but we can’t. What we can do is take proper care to test and try things that do and don’t work, so that over time they’ll have the perfect safe space. Let go of perfect, and have fun with your child creating their unique space.
Paul Denikin, Dad Knows DIY
Inspiration for Life with Autism
This blog has a variety of articles about people living life with autism, and topics and ideas that can help in the journey. Guest bloggers are welcome. Inspired by Trevor, a young adult film critic, photographer and college graduate on the autism spectrum.