Interior Design for ASD

When you move into a new house, especially with a new family, interior design is one of the most exciting things about the move. Mothers will tear through home decorating magazines and Pinterest, designing every square inch of the home. If a house is also the home of a child with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are certain designs and preparations that a house should have to protect and benefit the child. Fastcodesign recently posted an article about proper interior design for a child on the Autism spectrum.

Sensitivity to sounds, light, sight, and textures are important aspects to incorporate into the interior design of a space meant for a child on the Autism spectrum. The article focuses on creating a Center of Autism and the Developing Brain for the New York-Presbyterian, but it incorporates several interior design elements that can be used in an average home for a child with ASD, especially in playrooms.

Familiar designs are important to keep in mind for comfort, due to a child’s sensitivity to unrecognizable spaces and structures. Central gathering spaces such as small huts and pavilions are great ideas. These types of design elements were used in the center to give a village, “Disney” like feeling.

Acoustics are also vital to a comfortable space for a child with Autism, as normal sounds could seem irritating to their ears, such as the hum of air conditioning. Soundproofing is vital, as well as absorptive carpeting and rubber flooring to decrease loud noises. Like the center did for their entire building, you can move air conditioners, heaters, and all ventilation systems to a place far away from the child’s room and play area to avoid the continuous sounds.

Children with Autism are encouraged to not be exposed to too much natural light, in order to avoid distractions going on outside the windows the light is coming from. Light dimmers can also be a great asset to any room, because children with ASD tend to be sensitive to their lighting being too bright or too dim.

When it comes to textures, it’s whatever your child prefers, but natural textiles are always safe choices, such as rubber and cork.

Designing for your child with ASD is all about their individual needs. Jacques Black, principal of the New York-Presbyterian, said “Each autistic person is very different: it’s a whole spectrum of different conditions.”
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For more information, check out Fastcodesign.

By Nicole Caropolo

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