As parents of autistic children, it can be challenging to navigate this journey in ways that make sense for you and your child or children. Heaven only knows that it’s usually not cheap, and sometimes budget constraints can make it challenging to create the kind of life for your child that you’d wish you could.
But, what’s more important than anything to remember is that understanding where your autistic child is at and how you can make their (as well as your) lives easier and more enjoyable is the starting point to charting a course that works for everyone, and – it doesn’t have to cost a second mortgage on your home.
CREATING A SENSORY ROOM
Many families think that sensory rooms are expensive and require the latest gadgets and high-tech advances, this isn’t true. The first step is to consider the needs of your child and where they are on the spectrum. This means that in consultation with your doctors and care team, you can devise a plan that will teach your child in ways that stimulate and excite – then, when you know what those objectives are, you can begin creating a sensory room for your child with the resources that you have.
By the way;,;. You think about approaching your local authorities to see if there are funding programs available, you might be able to avail yourself of facilities you didn’t even know existed. Soft toys, puzzle boxes, treasure maps, sensory ice painting, and smelling games are all part of your repertoire that doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
One of the biggest concerns parents have for their autistic children is their safety, and this means that you need to pay special attention and care to how your home is set up and how possible it is to move around your home safely and with minimal risk. You should be able (ideally) to carry two people side-by-side through your home without hitting furniture or objects, so this may take some creativity on your part, but it’s totally doable. Also, check for dangling wires and electrics. (Probably a good idea anyway).
CREATING A SAFETY PLAN
You should also create an overall safety plan for your home. This includes the location of fire extinguishers, emergency first aid kits, medication, emergency contacts, and alarms, etc. The more detailed your plan is, the more valuable and practical it will be should things go less than perfect. You can find some more advice here.
MAINTAINING A COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT
Autistic children can often be hypersensitive to changes in climate and weather. Maintaining an even and comfortable environment in your home, depending on your child’s needs, is pretty essential, and that means it could be time to get air conditioning installed. Even if you live in more temperate climates, maintaining a stable environment in your home can make a huge difference. If you currently have air conditioning, but it’s not working correctly, you’ll need air conditioning repair.
TIME MANAGEMENT, NOT JUST YOURS
Just like you, your child also needs some “me” time, so be conscious of that fact and don’t overschedule activities no matter how educational they may seem. How this works for your situation will depend on your child’s individual needs and your own so keep that in mind.
If you’re new to all of this, you’ll need some help so remember to sign up for our Autistic Family Toolkit.
“It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village.” – Coach Elaine Hall.