By: Jenny Wise
Designing a bedroom for a child with special needs can be tricky; you want to ensure that she’s comfortable and happy, but there are certain safety considerations you need to make as well. Because every child who is on the autism spectrum has different needs, it’s essential that you make every effort to keep her specific disorders in mind. For instance, lighting, color, texture, and organization all play a big role in ensuring that your child’s bedroom is everything it needs to be in order for her to thrive and grow.
Fortunately, designing the perfect bedroom for a child with special needs doesn’t have to be costly or challenging. Thinking about your child’s routines and keeping organization in mind will help immensely, as many children on the spectrum thrive with those things. It’s also a good idea to keep DIY projects in mind when it comes to painting and decorating, as this will help save you quite a bit of money. Create a plan for your design and consult your child’s doctor if necessary, and read on for some great tips on how to get started.
Routine, schedules, and order are often very important for individuals on the spectrum, so getting organized in the bedroom will be extremely beneficial. Look for clear plastic bins that will allow your child to find things easily while keeping them put away, as well as furniture that does double duty as storage. As an example, a toy chest that can also be used as a reading bench will help reduce the number of items in the room, which can really help with sensory overload. However, make sure you take safety precautions when bringing new pieces into the room, such as anchoring heavy furniture to the wall to prevent tipping.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Lighting
The lighting in your child’s bedroom is extremely important. Some individuals on the autism spectrum find natural light to be much too harsh and overwhelming, while others prefer it. Some children will love having colored lights in their room to create a sensory space, while others might have trouble relaxing with them on. Think about your child’s specific needs when it comes to sensory items, and make sure the lighting reflects them.
Make It Comfy
Texture is another important aspect of designing a bedroom for a child on the spectrum; some individuals can’t tolerate the feeling of tags or certain fabrics, so bedding, carpet or rugs, and any other textiles should be soft and comfortable. Bean bag chairs are hugely beneficial for kids who don’t like sitting in hard chairs, and you can look for sheets and pillowcases that are made of buttery-soft T-shirt material. Keeping things comfortable will prevent sensory issues and help your child relax and get better sleep, especially if medication or other issues prevent good rest.
Color Is Important
The colors you use in the bedroom are crucial since warm shades like red and orange are high-energy and can keep kids from being able to relax. Try cooler hues and neutral tones; gray, blue, and off-white are usually perfect. While some kids who are on the autism spectrum enjoy colored lights, permanent bright colors on the walls might be a little overwhelming and can lead to a lack of focus or moody meltdowns.
Designing a room for a child on the autism spectrum can be a bit of a challenge, but when you’re prepared, the project won’t take much time or money. Talk to your child’s doctor to make sure your little one has everything she needs, and keep safety in mind throughout the process.