If you need to create a bedroom for a child on the autism spectrum, you may be wondering where to start. A bedroom should be a place of calm and rest for all children and adults, but for those on the spectrum, providing that relief is even more important. If you want to build a room where your own child can feel safe, soothed and secure, American SPCC invites you to keep the following autism-friendly tips in mind.
Provide a Clean, Calm Space for Your Child to Sleep and Play
When your child is on the autism spectrum, overwhelmed senses can be a major concern. People who are on the spectrum tend to be more affected by light, sound and even sensations in the air around them. It’s a rare gift to be so sensitive, but it can also be exhausting for your child to deal with every day. So, ensure that their bedroom is a respite from these overwhelming sensations. One way of doing so is to use air purifiers and high-quality filters in your home to keep irritants and odors to a minimum. Air filters are especially important, as they serve as the first line of defense against smells and pollutants that can impact your child’s ability to breathe and relax inside your home.
Give Yourself Peace of Mind With Added Safety Measures
Sensory management is always a top concern for parents of children on the spectrum. Staying safe inside your home, however, is likely to be a major focus of your design efforts too. Ensuring the safety of children with ASD involves taking steps to manage common issues such as, climbing furniture and wandering around. If your own child likes to wander, consider extending your safety measures beyond the bedroom. Installing a security system that includes security cameras inside and outside will allow you to monitor your child’s movements during the day and night.
Be Intentional With Your Color and Design Choices
In the same way that smells and sensations can overwhelm your child, color can have an emotional effect as well. Whether that impact is calming or exciting depends on the colors you choose when designing your child’s bedroom. Since bolder colors and patterns can overload your child’s emotions and senses, you may want to stick with calming room colors. These shades include soft browns, gentle pinks, and comforting blues, which can help induce more relaxation for your child. Using soothing colors is an extra step that improves your child’s mood during play while encouraging better sleep habits at bedtime too.
Use Sensory-Soothing Tools to Create a Calming Room
The elemental features of your child’s room can be helpful for calming senses. Adjustable lighting is another room feature that can offer further relief. Being able to dim the lights when your child needs calm and to brighten them for more focus is a great way to add some versatility to the bedroom.
Autistic children can be sensitive to loud noises. If you live in a busy area, make sure their bedroom windows are well insulated.
A comfortable bed is also crucial for a child with ASD, especially if they regularly cope with insomnia. Before you shop for a mattress, determine your child’s sleep style and firmness needs, and keep temperature regulation in mind if your child tends to sleep hot.
Being a parent to a child on the autism spectrum comes with challenges, but it also provides so many beautiful opportunities to see the world from new perspectives. Creating a calming, intentional bedroom provides more of those opportunities for you and your little one. By giving your child the comfort and relaxation they need to recharge at home, you will make exploring the world a more positive, fulfilling experience.