Autism Awareness Day: 4 Ways to Alter Your Home for Autistic Children

Autism is a disability that affects how individuals experience their environment and interact with each other. According to the National Autistic Society, over 1% of people in the UK have autism. People of all backgrounds can be autistic and experience it more or less severely.

One trait that lots of autistic people share is an over- or under-sensitivity to sound, light, touch, colour and temperature. Low and high sensory stimulation can sometimes cause individuals with autism discomfort or panic. This is particularly true for autistic children.

Sensory sensitivity is a reason why some people who have or know autistic children choose to make special alterations to their home. Several of these are simple to do and can help children cope with sensory imbalance. If you have or know autistic children, keep reading to learn 4 ways to alter your home for autistic children.

1. Create soft lighting and acoustics

One way to alter your home is to adapt your lighting. If you have strong, bright lighting, try changing it to soft and natural light. This is more likely to create a calm and relaxed environment for children with autism.

It is also worth paying attention to your home acoustics. Try altering echoey rooms by adding soft furniture, carpets, rugs and curtains. These will soak up and soften noise, making these rooms much more comfortable locations for autistic children.

2. Assign rooms for specific activities

Another way to alter your home for autistic children is to assign rooms for particular activities. Several children with autism can find it hard to eat and sleep, which can be distressing for both them and their carers. Picking specific areas for particular activities will help to get them ready for and settle into the activity.

For instance, if you generally eat in the dining room, change it so that this is the only room you eat in and remove anything from here related to other activities. Doing this will make children more likely to be ready to and focus on eating.

You can do this in the other rooms of your home too. Ensure that bedrooms are only for sleeping in and study space is only for calm, focused activities. You can create a fun space too, where children can expect to do fun, lively activities.

3. Colour-code your spaces

Colour is another thing that autistic children can be sensitive to. Some research suggests that colour and mood are closely connected and this link can be very relevant for children with autism.

So if you can, try to connect your room colour with the activity that usually takes place there. Colour children’s bedrooms dark colours to lessen light reflection and prompt sleep. Use bright shades in fun activity areas and light, cool colours in study spaces. Blue is a particularly great choice as it’s been claimed to both be soothing and encourage creativity.

4. Include sensory integration tools

Sensory integration tools can be very helpful for autistic children. These are generally home items that can provide children with soothing sensory stimulation. They are particularly useful for autistic children who need to self-calm to deal with sensory overload.

There are multiple places in your home to put sensory integration tools. Fit a massage jet in your bath and big, soft cushions and blankets in bedrooms and other relaxing areas. Get a rocking chair for your sitting room or a swing if you’re keen. Other useful tools include slides, climbing frames and mini-trampolines.

So if you want to change your home to a better place for autistic children to be, there are several ways to do this. A few little adjustments can make a big difference and turn your home into a better environment for small autistic visitors or residents and everyone else.

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