After an autism diagnosis, many parents are faced with fear and possibly even guilt, wondering whether they’ve unintentionally made their child suffer at times because they didn’t understand their symptoms. But don’t worry. Autism spectrum disorder is manageable, and you can create a safe, supportive environment that your child thrives in.
Some of the biggest challenges that parents face with an autism diagnosis is helping their child feel secure. Emotional regulation and sensory sensitivity are two challenges that toddlers and children with autism face. Along with intervention strategies recommended by their doctor or therapist, there are also some changes to the home that can help prevent anxiety, tantrums and meltdowns.
Securing the Necessary Funds
Depending on any physical disabilities your child has, certain home improvements might be more costly than you can afford. For smaller upgrades you can look into solutions like taking out a loan, or reducing monthly expenses in order to free up extra money every month.
When it comes to larger purchases such as an entire home renovation, it may be time to look to selling your life insurance policy to access substantial sums of money right now instead of down the road. You can review a guide that tells you everything you need to know about how to sell your term life insurance policy now.
Create a Calming Space
Children with autism can experience significant sensory overload, leading to distress, anxiety and even meltdowns, which are much more intense and all-consuming than a temper tantrum. When stressed, autism can lead to outbursts of violence and aggression that are not only distressing to everyone in the family but can even be dangerous. One of the best ways to counteract these events is to create a special, quiet space that your child can go when they’re feeling overwhelmed or having a bad day.
This is not a place for punishment, and it should never be used as a time-out zone. Instead, think of it as a place to check-in and let your child cool off. Have low light, minimal decorations and some of their favorite sensory objects that bring them a feeling of safety.
Soft pillows, a blanket and some plush toys are all they need. Having this place to calm down and redirect their energy can be a valuable step in helping your child learn how to self-regulate their emotions.
Place Rubber Bumpers and Locks
Wandering is a major concern for parents of children with autism. Even as a pre-teen or adolescent, some children are still prone to leaving the house unannounced and wandering on their own. Safety locks and latches can prevent this from happening, even if it’s just between different parts of the house that your child shouldn’t be left unattended.
Rubber bumpers should be installed on every countertop and sharp edge of furniture to prevent injuries. Some children struggle with body orientation, known as proprioception. This makes them more accident prone at home as they are not always able to accurately judge distance between their bodies and other objects.
If you have a pool, make sure there is absolutely no way for your child to ever easily access it on their own. A fence should be installed around it along with a security lock. Bathrooms should be off-limits for children who are likely to turn on the tub on their own to prevent drowning.
Avoid Bright Colors
Neutral tones are best for children with autism. Too many bright colors can be overstimulating, so opt for colors your child finds soothing. Blues are often commonly chosen by children with ASD, though some prefer red, greens and browns. Keep any busy patterns or bold hues to your personal space. When decorating common living areas and your child’s bedroom, keep peace and neutrality in mind.