Having a child with autism can be challenging at times, but it can also help you become more creative and inspirational in order to create safe spaces for them. if you have a garden and would love your child to enjoy some of their time out there, then you could put your energy into creating a sensory garden for them. This is something that looks great for you and feels good for your child. Okay, so let’s have a look at a few methods to achieve this:
Think about Sound
Is your garden near a road, or perhaps near a playground, or even a pub where you can often hear loud noises? You need to find ways to block some of this sound out. Think about trees that can block out these sounds or even fences and sound blocking scrubs. You can incorporate things that have tranquil sounds, such as a water feature or some shrub that whisper as the breeze passes through the leaves. Bamboo or some ornamental grasses can create this beautiful sound effect too. You may even want to have a few plants which encourage bees that have that distinctive buzzing sound.
By creating zones, you will always have a backup plan if one area becomes too much for your child. You can separate areas with raised borders, free-standing trellises, or even outdoor blinds if you have a patio area that may need blocking off from time to time. Have a play zone that is separated from a peaceful zone. By creating a difference, you can break the cycle by moving your child if something does upset them while remaining outdoors.
Get creative with colors to offer your child some visual stimulations. You can incorporate colors from many different things such as plants, gravel, brickwork, wood, paint, stones, garden ornaments. Try and balance each area out so that there is nothing too bright and or overly colorful in one area. Think about adding a few signs which may indicate to a non-verbal autistic child the intention for the area they are about to go into. Understanding on their level can be of huge benefit to all concerned.
Many plants give off a beautiful aroma, and in your sensory garden, it is a great idea to get plants that offer some of the loveliest fragrances around. You could have mint, honeysuckle or lavender to name a few. Just head on down to your local garden center and use your nose to guide you. Additionally, have your child try a few samples and see what resonates with them the best before planting anything.
You could try planting a few edible flowers if you want to appeal to this sense. Also, think of strawberries or raspberries.
If you can incorporate a few plants that feel great to the touch, you are on to a winner. Something like lambs ear or Jerusalem sage could work a treat. Again when you are at the garden center, get your digits involved and touch the plants to see what would be most suitable.