Decorating your child's bedroom is sure to be a lot of fun. But, when they have autism, you also need to consider whether there are any features you can add and tweaks you can make to help them feel relaxed and at home. Autistic children will typically require a room that has been adapted to suit their sensory needs. This will help to ensure your little one loves spending time in their own space, and that it's somewhere they feel safe and relaxed.
But what do you need to do to create a relaxing sensory bedroom for your child? I'm going to offer you my top tips here.
Reduce the risks of sensory overload
As you'll be aware, autistic children can struggle with sensory overload, so it's worth looking for ways to keep disruptions and outside stimulation from disturbing them while they're in their room. Visually, you can help to keep stimulation to a minimum by decorating with a neutral colour palette and avoiding busy patterns. Blackout blinds can also be a great choice if your child is sensitive to light or tends to get distracted by the headlights of cars that drive past.
You might also find that your child starts to feel agitated when their room becomes particularly cluttered. Keeping your kids' rooms tidy is no easy feat, but it can help to keep children with autism spectrum disorder calm. So, make sure their room has plenty of storage space where you can hide anything they're not currently playing with. A white noise machine can also make a fantastic addition if your child is often bothered by outdoor sounds at night.
Create different zones within their room
There will be times when your child wants to play, and there will be others when they want to be on their own and relax. To make this as easy as possible for them, create different zones in their room for these activities.
Rugs can really help with this, as they allow you to block out different areas of the floor. For example, you could have one rug where all of their toys are located, and then another with a bean bag or some cushions where they can chill out if things get a bit much. If your child tends to bring a lot of homework back to their room, or they enjoy working on their own projects, it might also be worth setting up a desk that's specifically for this.
Ask your little one for feedback
The best way to ensure that your child is going to be comfortable in the space you create for them is by getting them involved in the decorating process. They will have their own interests and sense of style that you'll want to reflect in their bedroom, and they're sure to be more excited about playing, relaxing, and work in their space if they've had a hand in creating it.
It's also important to remember that every person with autism will have their own unique experience. So, even if you read every book and follow every tutorial on how to create an autism-friendly space, it's vital that you check in with your son and daughter to make sure the room you're creating will actually suit them.
Some autistic children can become quite stressed when the things that they're used to change. If you're concerned about this with your child, getting them involved in the planning stage can also help to prepare them for the tweaks you're planning to make to their space. Rather than feeling unsettled, they'll hopefully be excited about getting to enjoy their new room, because they'll know what to expect.
Take these tips on board and it should help you to design an autism-friendly bedroom that your little one will love spending time in. Of course, getting it exactly right might take some trial and error, but following this guide will help you to get off to a positive start.
Please note: This article should only be used as a guide. Please also carry out your own research and speak to an expert if you have any questions or concerns.