Designing A Bedroom For A Child On The Autism Spectrum: Tips For Parents
Designing a bedroom for a child takes a lot of consideration; not only does it need to be safe, it also needs to be functional, with enough room for your little one to move around and play. When your child is on the autism spectrum, there’s even more to think about when it comes to creating a space that’s safe and happy. Because every person on the spectrum has different needs, it’s important to consider what will work best for your child. For instance, someone who has sensory processing issues may have trouble sleeping in a room with bright colors.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can help make your child comfortable and happy in their bedroom, and doing so doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. From paint color to organization solutions, there are several things you can do to create a functional and healthy space for your child no matter what her needs are. There are also plenty of online resources that will help you figure out how to choose the best furniture and decor according to your child’s specific needs.
Watch those colors
In some cases, a child on the autism spectrum may benefit from a variety of colors, but this is typically best in a learning environment and not in the bedroom. Sensory processing issues are common for individuals on the spectrum, making bright primary hues too strong for the bedroom. You can look for neutrals or calming blues and soft greens, which will help your child relax at the end of the day and prepare for better rest.
Make it safe
Curious kiddos can pose safety issues in a room full of furniture, so make sure all big pieces — the dresser and bookshelves, especially — are attached to the wall with anti-tip brackets. If there’s a television in the room, secure it with an anchor. Bedrooms should have either a security alarm on the window or a lock the child can’t open themselves.
Clean the air
Many children on the autism spectrum have a sensitivity to smells and stuffy air. With studies pointing out that the air quality inside our homes is often worse than the air quality outdoors, it’s important to do what we can to make breathing indoors comfortable for everyone. One simple way is to use an air purifier in their bedroom, which can help with everything from making sleep easier to keeping allergies flare-ups to a minimum. You should also make sure you regularly change the filter in your HVAC system to one with a high enough MERV rating to collect as many airborne particles as possible.
Keep it comfy
Soft textures for the flooring and bedding are essential for a child on the autism spectrum. Look for thick shag rugs, sheets and blankets that don’t have scratchy tags, and a bean bag chair to sit in and read. Organization is crucial, too, so give each section of the room its own area: reading, creative, relaxing, cognitive learning. You can put puzzles and games in one section, art supplies in another. This will help your child relax and feel comfortable, because predictability and routine are necessary even in a bedroom for an autistic child.
Designing a bedroom for a child on the autism spectrum doesn’t have to be a costly or stressful event. Taking their specific needs into account will allow you to create a space where they’ll feel happy, comfortable, and healthy for years to come.