As the parent of a child with autism, you know that he or she has special needs that will require making some changes to your home. Many of these children have sensory issues that affect the way that they act to the things around them. Your child might hate hearing certain sounds or touching different fabrics, and that’s why it’s so important to pay extra attention to the matter.
When designing a playroom for autistic child needs, there are some great ideas that you can try:
“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." – Jimmy Dean
Choose the Right Room
Before you buy a single item, make sure that you pick the right room in your home. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to pick a room close to your bedroom, kitchen, or home office. You want to stay as close as possible to supervise your child.
Older kids may want a little more privacy. You might build a playroom in your attic or basement to create a space where they can go to get away from others. If you have limited space in your home, consider turning a portion of an existing room into a child's playroom.
While you might feel tempted to create the playroom of your dreams, keep in mind the wishes and needs of your child. This often involves cutting back on the decorations that you use and reducing the overall clutter.
Kids with sensory issues have a hard time being in spaces surrounded by dozens of things. It makes it hard for them to choose a game or toy to play with and focus on a simple activity.
Many of the autism playroom ideas that you see online feature a large rug in the center of the room with decor and furniture around the edges. Your child will quickly learn that they can play anywhere that they want without worrying about sensory issues triggering them.
Add New Furniture
No matter what your child does in the playroom, you need to add some new furniture. Some kids love using bouncy balls in place of ordinary chairs, but others find that they cannot focus when sitting on those balls, so you’ll need to take the time to choose what your child prefers.
You generally want to pick furniture that allows your child to play and focus when needed. This might include a small desk with a matching chair or multiple chairs that let them play with their friends. When looking at autism bedroom ideas, you'll find that other parents often recommend indoor tents that let kids get some private time.
Follow a Routine
Parents sometimes have a hard time realizing that children with autism need to follow a routine. These kids do well when they follow a set schedule that includes the same activities at the same time every day.
Adding a calendar to the room is one way that you can help your child. Look for options that work with erasable markers. You can write down the schedule for the day and let your child erase those activities as they do them. Some kids also benefit from the ability to write the schedule themselves, so try it out!
Sensory room ideas for autism often include some type of soundproofing elements. Children with autism often have negative reactions to certain sounds such as the flushing of a toilet or someone walking across the floor in shoes.
Soundproofing a room is easier than you might think because many stores and websites sell acoustic tiles. These are the same tiles that musicians and studios use to keep sounds locked in a room. You can add the tiles to both the ceiling and walls along with the floor.
Pick the Perfect Lighting
The best type of lighting to use in the playroom depends on what your child likes. Fluorescent lighting has a cool tone and can mimic the experience of being in school. Some children with autism like this type of light because it lets them clearly see everything in the room.
Warmer types of lighting have a relaxing effect that can help your child feel less stressed about problems at home. You can also add mood or accent lighting that your child can use when they want such as lava and glitter lamps.
Organizational tools are often found in playrooms for autistic children, since they help you get and stay organized. A good idea is to go for ordinary wooden shelves that have plastic bins in different colors. Some kids like that they can organize their toys and put different items in specific colored bins. A simple toy box works well, too.
Using organizational supplies is important because those tools keep kids from becoming overwhelmed. If they have dozens of options and tons of toys sitting around the room, it can overwhelm their senses and even cause them to act out.
An interior decorator can help you design the perfect playroom for a child with autism. Request a free quote today!