Preparing your home for an autistic child isn’t quite the same as for any other. There are, of course, similarities, but also specialist considerations you must make. From removing things that can overstimulate senses to labeling safe areas, here are some useful suggestions.
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Designate a Room or Space
All kids love to have their own space, and autistic kids are no different. However, autistic children need somewhere they can retreat to when they are overwhelmed. The first step is to check for local moving companies that can help you clear a room. Then you can get to work. Consider whether the area is elevated or under something, as many autistic children have a preference for these, such as a private and dedicated area on the landing or even a child’s tent under the stairs.
Consider Sensory Overstimulation
It is well known that autistic children can be overwhelmed by their own senses. Loud noises, bright lights, and even strong smells are too much for autistic kids to handle sometimes. The severity of one or the other depends on the child. So, it helps to understand their specific needs. If necessary, remove bright fluorescent lighting and replace it with dimmable bulbs. It also helps to remove any strong-smelling chemicals from the home and use unscented products instead.
Install Safety Products for an Autistic Child
Child safety should always be at the top of your priorities, no matter the age or specific needs of them. Every year, over two million kids are admitted to hospital after a home injury in the UK alone. So, making the home safer always helps. For autistic children, home safety requires a little more attention because of their specific needs. Home safety essentials such as electrical outlet covers, door and drawer latches, and corner foam will help make the home much safer.
Label Boundaries and Safe Spaces
Autistic children are very visually aware, and you can use this to your advantage. Labels are your best friend around the home, and you can place words or recognizable symbols for the kids to pay attention to. For example, this can be as simple as labeling a room or area as “SAFE” or “UNSAFE.” Yet symbols such as the traffic light system also help, where red means danger and green means okay. All children are good at paying attention to these, so safety will improve.
Organize Everything You Might Need
Staying organized is a key skill when welcoming an autistic child into your home. There is an increased risk of injury or medical issues with autistic children, so it helps to have medical essentials in easy reach. For example, a first aid bag or box should be quickly and easily accessible by adults if something happens. It also helps to keep any emergency or specialist phone numbers nearby and keep them dotted around and also in your vehicles.
Assigning a special room or area helps prepare your home for an autistic child. Safety products such as latches and covers also help. And try to keep emergency contacts close by at all times.