All parents want to see their children thrive, but when your kid is on the autism scale, knowing how to do that can seem puzzling. However, there are opportunities to adjust both your outdoor and indoor home environment to help your youngster succeed. Here’s what you need to know about creating an autism-friendly home environment for your child.
Go Outside and Play
Getting out and exploring the world are important in the development of all kids. In fact, some research indicates kids with autism can particularly benefit from being outdoors. So much of autism relates to issues with sensory integration, the various sensations children experience outside — touching, smelling, seeing, hearing, and so forth — can provide growth and healing opportunities for children on the autism spectrum.
When it comes to how to go about it, HomeAdvisor suggests thinking in terms of creating a safe and secure backyard sanctuary for your youngster; for example, you can look to outdoor playsets to encourage coordination, balance, and imagination. For instance, activities like swinging can enhance muscle tone and stimulate circulation. So, think about your yard and what you can set up to encourage your child’s learning.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
When it comes to great backyard experiences, think about installing a garden with your child in mind. Start with small plants rather than seeds so your child has colorful flowers and textures right off the bat. You can even have your child help with the planting! And if your youngster is uncomfortable with the sensation of dirt, there are gardening gloves for both children and adults.
Add some interesting objects to the garden, such as painted rocks and a sandbox. Depending on your child’s circumstances, you might even look into some DIY painted rocks, boosting your child’s experience and personal engagement.
In terms of safety, if you haven’t already done so, think about installing a fence around your backyard. For kids with autism, Raise the Good suggests adding a tall security fence that your child can’t climb over. Also, ensure that there are no objects close at hand that your child could use to help with climbing.
An autism-friendly home interior is just as important as the exterior, and presents some different issues to manage. For instance, the bathroom can be a challenging area for children with sensory issues. Think through your child’s particulars and look for ways to enhance the space. You might incorporate a favorite toy into the area, and avoid bath mats in textures that would make your child uncomfortable. You can also hang visual cues that explain how to do things like washing hands or using the toilet. And paint the room in colors your youngster will find soothing, such as pale blue, soft pink, or light green. Identify where your child has a troubling spot and think through how to be encouraging and soothing.
Heart of the Home
The kitchen is a hub of activity in family homes, and turning it into an autism-friendly space will help your child be a part of things. Start with examining the safety of the room. Store items with sharp edges, motors, and blades safely out of reach. Also choose a durable sink and countertops, especially if your child is prone to outbursts.
Items which pose a particular threat can be appropriately labeled. For instance, stove buttons and blenders might have a stop sign or sticker attached. Ensure chemicals like cleaning supplies are safely secured, and hide foods that could pose a threat, such as fruit with pits.
Foods can also be a learning tool for your youngster. Consider doing some cooking with your child to encourage her to explore textures and scents, and take the opportunity to work on motor skills. You can try different teaching methods, such as demos, using diagrams or verbal cues. It can be a fun and memorable experience for you both!
Moms and dads naturally want to see their children thrive. So, think through your child’s personal circumstances and examine ways to adjust your property, both inside and out. When your youngster is on the autism scale, your home environment can be a key to success.
By Jenny Wise