For any child, the bedroom is a personal environment where they can relax and play at ease. However, for kids with autism, the bedroom is also a place where they can retreat from overwhelming situations and find relief from sensory overload. So, put special care into the design of your child’s room. In a calming environment, your child will feel comfortable as they go about their day — and they’ll sleep better too!
Did you know that indoor air is often more polluted than the outdoors? Indoor air pollution can trigger allergies, asthma, fatigue, and headaches. Since your child will spend so much time inside their room, make sure the air they’re breathing is clean. Using an air purifier in their room can help filter toxins and allergens. However, it’s also important to replace the air filter in your HVAC system on a regular basis. You’ll be able to find the right filter size for your system much easier online. Plus, many online stores offer subscription options so you’ll always have a fresh replacement filter when you need it.
No one likes to be surrounded by clutter. For kids with autism, clutter can be both distracting and distressing. Many people with autism find that clutter contributes to sensory overload. On the other hand, an organized space will make it easier for your child to find the things they need as they go about their day. So, set up simple and neat organization systems in your child’s room. Use clear bins to separate toys, craft items, and supplies. A cubby shelf is ideal so that your child’s things are always visible. You can label these bins with pictures of the items inside so your child knows where to find what they need.
This sense of simplicity and organization should carry over into the décor as well. On the walls, choose minimal artwork that your child enjoys. A light projector with calming patterns and colors, like a starry sky, can help soothe the senses. Your kid might also like a lava lamp or other form of moving décor, such as a bubbling vase or a pendulum clock.
Another important aspect of décor is color. Vivid colors like red and orange can be too stimulating for children with autism. To create a calming bedroom environment, choose a soft shade of blue, green, or purple. Alternatively, you may want to use a lighter version of your child’s favorite color. When you’re ready to buy paint, make your selection carefully. The Spruce recommends using non-toxic paint low in VOCs to avoid introducing more pollutants to your indoor air. The fabric on your child’s bed should be also simple and calm — monochromatic color schemes are ideal for textiles in the room. Also, consider buying a weighted blanket to work as a stress reliever or sleep aid for your child.
Did you know that even small amounts of light have an effect on the sleeping body? When it comes to sleep, the darker the better. Blackout curtains can help you make your child’s room as dark as possible. A dim nightlight can still be used in your child’s bedroom if it will make them more comfortable, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It’s also important that the room is cool, so use a fan or turn on their air conditioner during hot nights.
A nourishing bedroom environment is one in which your child will thrive. Remember to aim for simple and spacious rather than cluttered or crowded. Also, try to incorporate your child’s input into the room design. The most important thing is that your child feels comfortable and secure in their bedroom, so ask them what they think! Try different things until you discover the room design that best promotes your child’s ongoing health and happiness