Today we are pleased to bring you a guest post from our friend Ed Carter at AbleFutures.org. (Some links in here may be affiliate links. This does not increase the price for you, if you were to purchase anything on the page but may generate a small commission in some cases).
Parents of children on the autism spectrum have to ensure their needs are taken care of in every setting. This includes making sure your home is set up in a way that keeps them safe and helps them thrive. Making these changes can help your child with their academic and social skills. Let’s look at how you can meet their needs while staying within your budget.
Address the Visuals
While you’ll need to assess your child’s specific preferences, children with autism generally don’t respond well to brightly colored rooms or walls that are covered with loads of pictures. According to Autism Parenting Magazine, if you’re decorating your child’s bedroom, it’s important to keep things calm. Too much visual stimulation can interfere with their ability to focus and get to sleep.
Where playrooms and learning areas are concerned, the same rules apply. It’s best to keep learning materials off the walls and in front of your child. Paints in neutral colors or light blues are some of the suggested options for children with autism. Once you find out which colors are most effective at keeping your child focused, you can use them to your advantage when keeping their attention.
Keep Sounds in Check
As the parent to a child on the autism spectrum, you may have gotten used to doing certain noisy tasks when your child is out of the house or asleep. According to the Interactive Autism Network, noises can become overbearing to autistic children and cause them to react negatively. These sounds can be background noise from the television as well as house cleaning, or it can be coming from outside the house. You can help your child keep their interaction with sound at a minimum by soundproofing the rooms they frequent. Thankfully, this doesn’t need to be an expensive process as there are a few ways you can soundproof your place affordably.
Lighting is Important
Generally, lighting can affect anyone’s mood or ability to focus, but children with autism can especially have trouble with being near certain lights. According to Konica Minolta, harsh, flickering lights have a negative effect on their mood and behavior. Stable lighting with mellow colors is what’s recommended for an autism-friendly environment. The most popular offender is fluorescent lighting, so make sure to find some good alternatives. Natural lighting is ideal, but if that’s not an option, how about LED bulbs? They’re more energy-efficient, which saves you money, and they’re also available in soothing colors. Bear in mind that while LED bulbs tend to cost more, they last much longer and have a lower operating cost over time.
Stick to Your Budget
As you’re working on making your home a nurturing environment for your child with autism, you can keep your budget intact by searching for some good discounts. You can look for deals in retail stores but shopping online can also be a good bet. For instance, a weighted blanket from Brilliantly Kalm can provide comfort if your child is overly anxious. When your child is calm, they’ll be able to get to sleep quicker and stay asleep through the night.
To get good deals online, you should look out for shopping days and download shopping apps. Deal experts usually suggest adding items to your cart so you can get alerted when the prices go down. Using coupons and promo codes can also go a long way in cutting down your bill. If you really like shopping at Amazon or Overstock, for example, make sure you stay on top of their offerings and grab an Overstock coupon or cashback deal when you’re shopping.
While you would have chosen the most supportive school for your child with autism, you can make their time at home just as fulfilling. By making a few modifications that will keep them from being overstimulated, you can ensure that your child has another environment where they can grow. These changes can remain affordable as long as you get creative and look out for deals.