This Home Space Design page is a parent and family centered page that helps families create and design successful spaces in their homes and communities for their children with autism.
When caring for a child with autism, parents strive for great schooling, thoughtful community outings and meaningful peer to peer social interactions. But when at home, they may face a new set of challenges. So how can a family design a home to offer support to the child as well? It may be good to start with a few steps that are listed below.
You know how some people baby-proof the house before bringing the newest addition home. This is similar! Keeping kids safe is paramount.
- Keep toxic or harmful chemicals in locked cabinets or out of reach.
- Make sure that any firearms or other dangerous tools are inaccessible.
- Check your outlets and keep them covered.
- Securely anchor tall furniture to prevent them from falling.
- Make use of “smart” house equipment, including voice commands, alarm systems, and remote shut-off features.
This about allowing your child to adjust the sensory stimuli to their specific needs. The more control a child with autism has over the sensory stimuli in their environment, the better. Think about these options.
- Install dimming features for light fixtures.
- Include furniture that is soft and plush, avoid sharp corners.
- Provide space within the room for pacing, playing, and preferred activities.
- Ensure that any “sensory room” fixtures such as swings or ladders are securely fastened.
It is important to start thinking of independence at an early age. Give them more control over their environment at home and more responsibilities, according to their abilities.
- Use surfaces that are easy to wipe clean, and give your child meaningful chores as appropriate.
- Utilize open floor plans that allow for supervision at a distance.
- Include visual supports as directions to allow for greater independence.
- Provide a “safe space” or “home base” within the home that is uniquely theirs.
By taking these simple steps, you can support and encourage your child at home. It will be worth it in the long run to strive for greater independence and also know that they are safe and secure.
Please see the links below for more information on each topic.