3 Tips for Creating a Bedroom for Children on the Autism Spectrum
- October 19, 2020
- Ally Cohen
- Special Needs Parents
By Jenny Wise, Special Home Educator
Approximately four in five children on the autism spectrum struggle with sleeping. From sensory needs and functionality to promoting independence and safety, a lot goes into making a bedroom that meets their needs and preferences. When all you want is the best for your child, guidelines and intricacies can be overwhelming as a parent. To make it a little easier, here are three tips to get you started on creating a bedroom for children on the autism spectrum.
Consider the Mattress
Sleep is vital for the health of children, and you want to make sure your child's mattress isn't keeping them from getting the quality sleep they need. Finding a comfortable mattress that meets the needs of your child on the spectrum can be challenging, but by taking your child's sensitivities into account and doing a little research, you should be able to find a winner. For example, if your child tends to get hot at night, look for a breathable mattress. If they sleep on their side a lot, consider a memory foam or hybrid mattress, and so on.
Choose Calming Colors
If your child is sensory sensitive, bright and bold colors may not be the best for a bedroom. Opt for hues that promote calm and tranquility, such as navy, soft blue, lavender, sage green, or gray. If you have a play zone in their bedroom, it may not hurt to use a red or yellow that pops, but make sure it's far away enough from the bed where it won't be distracting at night.
Ease the Lighting
As with colors, children on the spectrum often have a sensitivity to light. You want to make sure the room has plenty of light for your child to do activities during the day and softer lights for the evening. Natural light is the best for daytime activities, so try to maximize sunlight coming in from windows in play areas. If there isn't adequate access to natural light, consider using some incandescent desk lamps and/or floor lamps.
Also, consider getting blackout shades or curtains for when the sun is too bright. For nighttime, red night lights help produce melatonin and promote relaxation while allowing your child to see should they need to get up at night. Moreover, installing a dimmer light will allow you to adjust the brightness of a light according to your child's needs.
If your child is on the autism spectrum, it's important that their bedroom doesn't contribute to any sleep issues. Start by finding them a mattress that meets their needs; remember that comfort is the key. Also, paint the walls a color that promotes calm and tranquility. Finally, make sure your child has enough light for daytime activities and softer lights for nighttime.
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