Last night I was speaking with a parent of an autistic child and she expressed her feeling of being lost in designing her daughter’s room. Designing any space can be somewhat confusing. If you are in need of a few ground rules for designing a space for a child or a child with special needs, please consider the following things:
- Be certain to purchase heavy and sturdy furniture. All shelves, dresser and freestanding pieces should be securely fastened to the walls and/or floors.
- Don’t forget to add safety latches on all drawers, doors and cabinets being used as storage in their bedroom or play area.
- Replace regular outlets with safety outlets as shown below.
- Remember to place child’s toys low enough for easy reach and play.
- Pad all sharp edges of furniture
- Remove lids from any box or containers being used to store toys.
- Make sure all draw pulls and knobs are too small to be used as a climbing tool, but large enough not to be swallowed. Also don’t forget to make sure all pulls and knobs are securely fastened.
When designing a bedroom for children with special needs, autism, etc. consider that they may issues sleeping. They may issues falling asleep because of their sensitivity to outside stimuli. Children without autism can usually sleep through small noises, or being tucked in and kissed goodnight, but an autistic child may have an adverse reaction to this.
Flooring choice is important in an autistic child’s bedroom. Carpeting the floor or a large rug can soften footsteps. Check for any creaks in the doors. I strongly recommend using blackout window treatments or blinds in an autistic child’s bedroom.
When selecting window treatments for their room take into consideration they may be used to climb or pulled down. Hard window treatment aka blinds and shade be cordless or motorized. Also don’t forget to install window guards at the bottom of windows in their bedrooms and play area.
Consider placement of furniture; be careful not to place furniture in a way that can lead to other hazards and dangers.
Color choice for their room is equally as important as the above mentioned. Calming colors are usually best and there are hues of colors to avoid. Consult with an interior designer about appropriate color choices for their bedroom. Even on a limited budget a 2-4 hour consultation will give you a space plan, color consultation, and window treatment.
Don’t forget to have a calm zone for tantrums. Create an area that is calming, safe, and secure.
- Is massage therapy good for autistic children? (zocdoc.com)
- A Bridgeable Divide? The understanding and empathy gap between adult autism self-advocates, and parents of autistic children (autismandoughtisms.wordpress.com)
- Evaluating Your Autistic Child’s TV Habits (brighthub.com)
- Helping Autistic Children Through the Teen Years (brighthub.com)
- How to Improve the Average Speech Progress of an Autistic Toddler (brighthub.com)
- Tips on Dealing with a Stong-Willed Autistic Child (brighthub.com)
- Autism, by any other name… (autismandoughtisms.wordpress.com)