Sensory Conscious Indoor and Outdoor Home Modifications for an Autistic Child
Before discussing the various sensory-conscious home modifications ideal for your autistic child, understand that sensory input affects a child with autism differently. Autistic individuals may experience an over or under-stimulation, making it challenging to manage environmental changes and navigate everyday life. Home modifications are critical to creating a safe and comfortable space. Read on to learn more.
Sensory Conscious Indoor and Outdoor Home Modifications For an Autistic Child (Image Credit Pexels)
ABA therapy center (https://abacentersfl.com/) ABA FL says it’s essential to be conscious of sensory challenges for children with autism, so creating outdoors with modifications is crucial. The sensory systems affected by autism are the tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems. Improvements to consider are:
Designating a Quiet Area
Have a quiet area such as a sandbox or garden with natural materials the child can explore. Doing this will help them interact with nature while still being able to retreat to a calming spot. The area should be free of noise-makers such as wind chimes but have comfortable seating. You can paint the walls with a calming color and add soft pillows or cushions to encourage relaxation.
Creating an Activity Area
Designate areas for physical activities and exercise like trampolines, slides, or swings. This will help the child to expend energy, as well as practice gross motor skills and coordination. Prioritize safety and always have someone supervise the playtime.
Indoor modifications are beneficial for children with autism who experience sensory challenges. They promote safety, comfort, and structure. They also create a calm environment for the child to enjoy. They include:
Sensory Friendly Furniture
Autistic children often benefit from furniture designed to soothe the senses. They include bean bags, yoga mats, and vibrating chairs. Opt for natural materials such as organic cotton, wool, and bamboo.
Noise irritates, agitates, and distracts autistic children more quickly than others. While it’s impossible to eliminate the noise, control it by soundproofing walls and ceilings with acoustic tiles or insulation. Install window drapes and blackout curtains to reduce sound from outside.
It helps to create “noise-free zones” in certain parts of the house and use sound machines or white noise for a calming atmosphere. Before moving into a new house, consider the location and noise level. Homes near highways and airports are nosier. The increased activity may also affect the child negatively.
Autistic children often experience sensory overload from bright lights. Use low-lighting and dimmer switches to create a calming environment. Opt for natural light as much as possible because artificial lighting reduces the production of melatonin, an essential hormone associated with sleep. Additionally, avoid lights that make a buzzing sound or flicker. These are non-issues to many but highly uncomfortable to a child with autism.
Use Calming Colors
Autism-friendly colors such as lavender, blue, and green create a soothing atmosphere. Incorporating them into the walls or furniture reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Additionally, buy toys in calming colors as bright ones may agitate the child.
What Are the Benefits of Maintaining a Conscious Sensory Home?
A sensory-conscious home helps a child with autism better manage their everyday environment. It creates a safe and calming atmosphere, reducing anxiety and stress. It also gives the child a sense of control, allowing them to interact meaningfully and independently. Reduced sensory overload translates to greater comfort and increased focus. Ultimately, making sensory-friendly modifications makes the child live a more relaxed, happier, productive, and comfortable life.