by Jenny Wise
Designing the perfect bedroom for a child can be stressful. There are many components to think about, from ensuring safety to making sure there are plenty of stimulating toys and games–all of which are organized so your child can access them easily. When you’re planning a room for a child on the autism spectrum, it can be a little more difficult to get the details right. Every child has different needs. For example, lighting is a major stressor for some children, while others find those same types of lighting soothing. Ensuring that your child has everything she needs while remaining safe can be a big job, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. With a good plan, you can create a comfortable space for your child that will allow her to learn and play with no worries.
Think about her specific needs before making any decisions; in some cases, you might consult your child’s doctor about the best ways to organize the bedroom. For children with sensory overload issues, colors, decor, and even smell can play a big role in comfort level, so it’s important to take those into consideration as well. Read on for some great tips on how to create a relaxing bedroom for a child on the autism spectrum.
Find the right curtains
For a child on the autism spectrum, curtains can be an enormous help when it comes to making a room comfortable. If the room is a shared space, a curtain can separate it into manageable areas that give each child their own place to relax and play. Curtains can also filter in soft light, or block it entirely for those who find sunlight to be too intrusive. Look online for the best deals on curtains for your child’s room, and keep in mind that the color you choose will be important.
Create organized zones
For many children on the spectrum, having an organized space helps to make sense of the world around them. You can assist in helping your child feel comfortable while engaging in learning play by creating zones around the room, such as a puzzle station, a place to play with building blocks, and a quiet reading area. Separating these spots with throw rugs or bookshelves and keeping them organized will allow your child to make sense of the space and interact in it freely.
Choose the right colors
The right colors can work wonders in a child’s bedroom. Soothing greens, blues, purples, and neutral shades are wonderful for children on the spectrum, while reds, oranges, and white can become overwhelming for a child who has trouble with sensory overload. Think about hue when choosing your wall color, bedding, and flooring, and be mindful of lighting, as this can affect the shade of a color.
Keep smells at bay
Some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are extremely sensitive to smell. As a result, the effect of good and bad aromas can be intense. Be sure that carpets, linens, and stuffed animals are cleaned without fragrance. Address unpleasant odors in the air, like smoke or freshening sprays, by running an air purifier in your child’s room. Pick a model with a low micron size for the best results.
Consider some white noise
White noise can often be helpful for children who have trouble sleeping. If your child needs help in that area, consider a noise machine or use an air filter that will lend soft, gentle sound to the environment without becoming overwhelming. Every child is different when it comes to rest and sleep patterns, so talk to your child’s doctor about the best ways to get started.
Creating a relaxing bedroom space for your child on the autism spectrum doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful; with some planning and organization, you can make a space for your child that is inviting yet comfortable, which will also allow her to learn and play.