Making Your Home Comfortable for

a Child Living with Autism

September 20, 2018 | by Jenny Wise

About Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological developmental disorder that impacts a child’s behavior and communication. It’s characterized as a “spectrum” disorder because there are several iterations of the condition that vary in severity. Different types of autism have their own set of symptoms, though an individual child’s symptoms can be completely unique to their situation. Nobody knows what causes autism spectrum disorder, but research suggests that genetics and environment may play a role.

Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder may include:

 

● Avoiding eye contact
● Delayed speech and language skills
● Echolalia
● Obsessive interests
● Sensory processing issues

● Flat facial expressions
● Difficult to comfort
● Does not pretend play
● Short attention span
● Unusual reactions

● Temper tantrums
● Impulsivity
● Unusual emotional reactions
● Upset with minor changes

 

Making Your Home Safe and Comfortable

 

If your child has autism spectrum disorder, there are certain ways you can make your home
conducive to their particular symptoms. Having a safe and comfortable home can cut down on
troublesome outbursts and mood swings. Furthermore, your home can serve as a great learning
environment that supports your child’s development into a well-adjusted person.

 

Consider a Service Dog
An autism service dog may also help when it comes to developing self-esteem and
independence. A service dog can help in many ways including improving social interactions,
relationships, expanding communication abilities and teaching life skills. As they grow into
adolescents and eventually transition to adulthood, a trained autism service dog can be a vital
resource that facilitates independent living.

 

Minimize Sensory Overstimulation
Sensory processing issues are common in children with autism spectrum disorder. However,
there are many different types of sensory issues, so minimizing overstimulation depends on a
lot on your child’s specific needs. Decluttering and adapting a minimalist interior design is a
great place to start. Focus on dim lighting and replace fluorescent lighting with something softer.
Consider adding dimmers to fixtures to make it easier to adjust the light to your family’s needs at
any point of the day.
Minimize outside noise pollution by replacing windows with double-paned models -- these can
also cut down on UV light and save you money on power bills, so there’s plenty of benefits do
doing so.

 

Adapt a Routine
A daily routine is crucial for families living with autism. Not only do routines save time, they help
reduce childhood anxiety. When kids have an idea of what is coming up in their day, they don’t
feel overwhelmed by the unknown. This can be helpful for children living with autism who tend
to have meltdowns when things don’t go their way.
Consider printing out and laminating visual routine charts that help your child with autism stay
on course. Visual charts increase understanding because they utilize your child’s visual
strengths.

Over time, they can gain independence and self-esteem that encourage the child with autism to
use their skills in places other than home.

From the Author:

Our youngest child, Anna, is a very special girl who just happens to be on the autism spectrum. Although her diagnosis was a little overwhelming at first (she was 6), our family of 6 has learned how to work as a team so that every single one of us thrives! I honestly believe that had it not been for our wonderful doctors and our “village” of other parents who can relate to our family’s journey that we would have taken a lot longer to establish a routine that works for all of us.

 

-Jenny Wise

jennywise@specialhomeeducator.com

©2018 ICare4Autism. All rights reserved.