Having tradespeople working on a home can be disruptive to any child. Having to deal with strangers can be very difficult for someone in the early stages of their life, and this can be very hard to manage when work is going on for weeks or even months. This will only be more challenging for those who have autistic children. Every child is different, but it can pay to take steps to make sure that your child is ready for the work that is about to be done in your home. This sort of work will always be worth it when you are worried about the way that your little one will react to experiences like this.
No child likes to deal with dramatic changes in their life, but this will always be harder for someone with autism. Having their routine changed to meet the needs of a construction team can be hard for a child like this, and this makes it well worth taking the time to make sure that their life changes as little as possible when the project first kicks off.
This can be achieved in a number of different ways. Basic elements of their daily routine, like going to the bathroom and eating breakfast, should always be kept as close as possible to the original routine they had. For elements that can’t stay the same, you could work on changing their routine long before the work begins in your home. This means that they will be ready once the time comes to switch up their life.
Maintaining Safe Spaces
While the people working on your home are likely to be lovely, you still need to be careful to make sure that they don’t invade your child’s space. Maintaining safe spaces is a key element of this process, providing your little one with the chance to escape the things that make them feel anxious and exposed.
Their bedroom can be ideal for this, with the people you have working in your place being told not to enter this space. This will only work if the improvements being made to your home don’t impact their bedroom, though. It might be that you need to find a new safe space that can be used when the bedroom isn’t in action. This can be a challenge, but it will be worth it to make sure that your little one feels safe.
Introducing Both Sides
Giving your child the chance to introduce themselves to the people working in your home can be a good way to normalize their presence. This idea won’t work for everyone, but it will be worth keeping in mind. Even a brief meeting where your child and your construction team get to exchange names can be great for this. People tend to become far less scary when a child has had the chance to meet them. Of course, though, your child may not be interested in meeting these people, depending on the way that their autism manifests.
Using The Right Company
Life used to be much harder for families with autistic members. As time has gone by, though, society has become far more understanding of differences like this in people, and this has made it much easier to be open and honest about it. Being open with the people who will be working on your home can be a great way to minimize the impact they have on an autistic child.
For example, you could ask your construction team to avoid using power tools when the little one is home. Something like this may sound small, but it could make a huge difference to your child while being easy for the team to accomplish. Most people will be willing to help you out when you are dealing with something like this, but it could be worth talking to the companies you work with before the project starts. Whether you are carrying out a chimney repair, garden landscaping, or an entire interior renovation, you can talk to the company doing the work and they will almost always be happy to help.
Just like anyone, a child with autism is able to adapt and learn when they are exposed to different situations. Being exposed to people working in their homes could be very good for their social skills, but it will be worth starting small with this to make sure that they don’t get overwhelmed.
Working on small projects can be a good way to get your child used to have strangers in the house. While you won’t always be able to control the size of a project like this, it will be easy enough to take advantage of it when you can. For example, you could have someone come to paint a room before you decide to carry out full-blown renovations.
As you can see, there are a lot of different steps that can be taken when you’re trying to limit the impact of home improvements on an autistic child. This process can take time to get used to, but the work will be worth it to ensure that your little one is happy with what is happening in their home. It’s always crucial to keep in mind that the impact of things like this can be harder to deal with than stamping out the impact in the first place.
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