Are you designing a bedroom for a child or teen on the spectrum and not sure where to start? Creating a relaxing, soothing bedroom can be simple, even if your child has a few emotional or sensory sensitivities. You just need to keep a few key points in mind and think about your child’s individual needs as you complete this project. To make things even easier, here are a few important tips to help you design a spectrum-friendly bedroom for your child.
Avoid Colors, Patterns, and Texture That Overwhelm
When you’re setting up a room for a child or teenager, it may be tempting to go crazy with color and decor. But for individuals on the autism spectrum, an abundance of color, patterns, and light can be uncomfortable. Sensory processing sensitivities are common in children with autism and can range from sensitivity to textures or emotional responses to colors. If your child has emotional triggers, think about them when creating the new bedroom. Avoid potential problems such as fluorescent lighting or busy patterns. Lighting can be important in an autism-friendly space since flickering fluorescent bulbs can be too harsh and cause discomfort. Choosing a soothing paint color can help set a relaxing tone in your child’s new room. So, think about using a color that will improve sleep, like the ever-popular blue, or pick a neutral hue that will be soothing to those sensitive senses and emotions.
Use Furniture and Decor That Will Provide Comfort and Safety
Keeping your child’s senses and emotions in mind is a good idea when designing a bedroom. However, it’s also crucial to think about the level of safety and comfort your child will feel when playing and sleeping in this new space. Children who are on the spectrum may love to twirl, rock, or climb furniture, all of which can be soothing for your child but also present the need for added safety measures in the bedroom. If you will be adding shelving or furniture, check that those items can be securely anchored to the wall. It’s stressful to think about, but each year thousands of children are seriously injured by furniture that has been tipped over or fallen on top of them. Secure those items and avoid storing heavier objects on top. Safety is always a top concern in your little one’s bedroom, but comfort is crucial for children with autism too. You can set up a crash pad, sensory soothing toys, and some cozy bedding to help your kid keep calm. Pick out some weighted blankets to help with overloaded senses.
Know The Pros and Cons of Sharing Rooms with Siblings
Picking the right colors and furniture is important, but you also may need to think about the best spot for your child’s bedroom. In many cases, this may mean putting an autistic child in the same room as a sibling, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Siblings sharing a room can actually help both children develop a deeper sense of empathy and connection to one another, which can translate into better relationships in the future. For your child with autism, you may need to offer additional explanations to really develop these social and emotional skills. But having that shared space with a sibling can offer more opportunities to go over these important lessons. Of course, there does come a time when you need to separate siblings into their own spaces. If either of your children is having trouble sleeping or seems more sensitive about privacy, it may be time to do this in your own home.
Children who are on the autism spectrum have special and unique needs, and those needs can vary from child to child. So, it’s important to keep common spectrum issues in mind when creating your child’s bedroom, but also think about what helps your little one feel comfortable. You can even ask for your child’s input and help! Just be sure to focus on creating a safe, soothing space and designing a dream bedroom will be a stress-free job.