Guest post by Alyssa Strickland
Parents of children on the autism spectrum are always working to make sure their children are comfortable in every setting. Adjusting your home can make your child feel safe and support their progress.
Clutter and Organization
Raising an Extraordinary Person notes that having an organized and structured home environment helps children feel safe and prioritized – even when parents are busy with work. Uncertainties may trigger significant stress for these children, which often comes from not fully understanding how everything works. That’s why parents who work from home need to set boundaries to allow themselves to focus, while allowing their children to rely on the certainty of everything being in place.
Too much disorganization and clutter can cause anyone to feel anxious and stressed out. These feelings can be even more pronounced for children with autism. Ensure you have enough available storage containers, shelving, and organization buckets to help your family stay clutter-free and organized.
You can also utilize offsite storage solutions to hold boxes of items or larger items. This will remove furniture, toys, and other articles that aren’t necessarily needed for the time being. Start by organizing your space with a goal in mind. Yes, you want to reduce clutter, but are removing older items and keeping newer ones in the living space? Are you removing paperwork from surfaces, but needing to keep it organized and easy to find? Goals will help you to decide what goes, what gets stored, and what stays.
Keep Sounds in Check
As a parent of a child with autism, you may have gotten used to doing particular tasks that make noise when your child is asleep or out of the house. Noises can become too much for children on the spectrum and make them react negatively. These sounds can include background noise from the TV, outside noises, and so on. You can keep your child’s interaction with sound at a minimum by soundproofing rooms or having them use noise-canceling headphones to mask noises that bother them.
Add Stimulating Furniture
Simple yet interesting furniture like swings can help calm a kid who becomes overstimulated. Using heavy drapes will invite activity within the room, helping your child relax as loud noises won't be that prominent. Adding a beanbag chair, some climbing mats, and small trampolines can also help with sensory integration needs for a child with autism.
Provide a Restful Bedroom for Optimal Sleeping
Sleepless nights and insomnia are significant issues in the autism community. Your child's sleeping arrangements can make a big difference. Removing distractions, adding blackout curtains, putting toys away, and using the bedroom only for sleeping are helpful ways to combat insomnia.
Lighting Is Very Important
Lighting can impact anyone's mood and ability to focus, but children on the spectrum can especially have a hard time being near particular lights. Harsh, flickering, and fluorescent lights can affect them negatively and change their mood and behavior. Stable light with soft colors is what's recommended. LED bulbs are ideal options as well because they are also energy-efficient and available in delicate nuances. Although LED bulbs are usually more costly, they last much longer, saving money over time.
Paint With Soothing Colors
Paint is one of the most affordable ways to update and adjust a room. For a comfortable, relaxing, and soothing bedroom for your child with autism, use mellow colors that help get rid of tension and maintain a peaceful atmosphere. Pale and soft greens and other soothing colors can do wonders.
The Bottom Line
Parenting a child on the spectrum can be daunting and incredibly challenging at times. However, by making a few simple changes to your home, such as decluttering, reducing noise, creating a restful bedroom, and adjusting the lighting and paint scheme, you can make your child more happy and comfortable, while providing a place for them to thrive.
Growing Up Autistic helps give families and loved ones affected by autism hope. Contact us today for more info!
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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.