Your home should be a sanctuary where everyone in your family can relax. Comfort is especially important when you have an autistic child. Having a safe space is important for autistic children to thrive. Using these five tips is a good way to start creating a calm home environment for your autistic children.
Create a Routine and Prioritize All Your Children
Children in general benefit from having a routine, but autistic kids need a routine to thrive. The more you deviate from your daily routine, the more likely it is that your child will become dysregulated. Having a set routine that everyone in the house agrees on is usually the best way to keep everyone happy. Remember that your other children still need your attention in addition to your autistic kid, so find ways to prioritize time with each member of your family. Some ways to find with your other children include:
Making yourself available for a bedtime routine
Having regular excursions with your other kids to explore their special interests
Asking your children to help with chores so that you have more time to play with them
Reading books each day
Set Up a Sensory Room
All children have sensory needs, but for autistic kids, these needs are usually more significant. Setting up a sensory corner or room in your house is a great way to meet these needs and keep the household regulated. For example, if your child seeks out frequent water play, you may consider setting up a water table on a corner of your patio. Your kid gets the benefit of meeting his or her sensory needs without the mess of having to clean up when playing in the kitchen. Other types of sensory equipment you could use include things to climb on, swings, pillows, and boards with various textures on them.
Design a Calming Bedroom
Every child deserves to have a safe space. For autistic kids, these safe spaces are often bedrooms. Make sure the room is equipped with comfortable furniture and your child's favorite toys. Making an effort to soundproof the space is a good idea because many autistic children are sensitive to loud noises. Finally, opt for light colors such as beige, sky blue or pastel green instead of choosing bold hues that may make the room feel uncomfortable. Letting your child choose the decorations for his or her room is usually the best way to ensure it is a comfortable space.
Take Safety Precautions
Autistic children are often impulsive, particularly if they are trying to meet sensory needs. This trait combined with a lack of a sense of danger can make your home an unsafe environment for autistic children if you do not take proper safety measures. For example, if your child frequently runs away, you must install several latches on the door to prevent your kid from escaping without your knowledge. Installing safety latches on kitchen cabinets and closet doors may also be necessary.
Many people are chronically stressed. This stress often carries over to the home, so you should take measures to make everyone in the household feel more relaxed. Simple changes such as letting in more natural light, choosing calming decor colors, buying houseplants, and minimizing the clutter in your home can have a drastic impact on your mental health. The less stressed you are, the less stress your children will feel.
Autistic children thrive in the right environment. Create a calm home where your autistic child can feel comfortable, take safety precautions, create a routine, and set up a sensory room.
For educational materials and resources for the neurodivergent community, visit Autism Moving Forward today!