5 Helpful Home Modifications for Children With Autism
If you are a parent whose child was recently diagnosed with autism, you might be trying to figure out how you can make your home a little safer for them while still giving them space to thrive. If you’re wondering how you can design your home to maximize your child’s safety and wellness, these tips will help you throughout the process.
Many people with autism are highly sensitive to loud, distracting noises, so excessive noise exposure can be very distressing. That’s why utilizing soundproofing techniques around your house is crucial, particularly when you’re designing your child’s bedroom. To soundproof a room, Bob Vila recommends sealing gaps under doors, using heavy, sound-catching curtains, and even using soundproof wallpaper or acoustic foam paneling.
Some children with autism may have a tendency to try to wander off, and if your child has ever done this, it’s only natural to feel concerned for their safety. In addition, your child might have a strong curiosity about certain household items, leading them to try to taking these items apart to understand how they work. In some cases, this is harmless, but at other times, it can be dangerous.
You’ll want to take steps to make your home more secure. Depending on your child’s needs and habits, you might want to use child gates, strong locks, and an alarm system in case they head out the front door without you.
A Space for Play
Perhaps your child has a strong interest in a certain subject. You may want to designate a space specifically for them to play, where they can focus on their interests. It’s important to choose a quiet space where they can play without interruption, although you should ensure that there is plenty of room for you to supervise them if need be. This space could be where you keep toys, books, and other objects that your child loves. It is a place where they can retreat if they need to wind down.
For children with autism, bright colors can represent a sensory overload. Painting the walls in your child’s bedroom with colors like red, orange, or yellow might not be the best choice. Instead, you can opt for calming hues like light blues or greens. But when it comes to colors, children with autism can also have their own unique preferences, so it’s important to pay attention to what your child likes and dislikes before painting any rooms.
Many people with autism struggle in environments with harsh, bright lighting. Soft, natural lighting is often preferable. To allow more natural light into your home, House Beautiful suggests using artificial light sources that won’t overpower it, like warm white LED bulbs that you can control with dimmer switches. And if your child has trouble sleeping at night because there is too much light in their bedroom, you might want to invest in blackout curtains.
Paying for Modifications
Upgrading your home for your autistic child can be costly. If you need help paying for modifications, consider refinancing your home. By giving up some equity in your home, you can receive a cash payment which can be used to pay for modifications. If your current loan is an FHA loan, refinancing to a conventional loan could eliminate the need to pay for mortgage insurance. When considering this option, learn everything you can about FHA vs conventional loans and their requirements.
For children with autism, common home features and design choices can be overwhelming and overstimulating. Parents need to go the extra mile to ensure that their home environment is optimal for their children. But these changes don’t have to be complicated, and with these tips, you can help your child with autism feel comfortable at home.
Autism Vision of Colorado is dedicated to supporting and advocating for autistic individuals and their families. Learn how you can support us and get involved.
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