Shopping Tips For Finding Bedroom Furniture With Children With Autism In Mind
As the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, it's important that you give careful consideration to what is in every space your child frequents. For example, a child's bedroom that's typically adorned in large prints, bold colors and lots of different shapes and decorations may be way too much for a child on the spectrum to process. The overwhelming sensory input can lead to meltdowns and increased stress, which makes it harder for your child to cope. If you want to turn your autistic child's bedroom into a sensory sanctuary and safe escape, there are a few things you need to think about.
Think About The Sensory Results
One of the challenges of children on the spectrum is that their sensory responses can vary widely. For some kids, sensory input can be overwhelming, while others will seek it out. Think about how your child responds to sensory input so that you can arrange the space accordingly. For kids who are sensory-seeking, you need to have a space with different types of sensory input so that he or she can safely explore. Add different textures and colors and materials throughout the room. Large futons with soft, overstuffed cushions make great soft escapes for those who seek this type of space.
For children who become overwhelmed by sensory input, create a space that's calming and comfortable. Focus on adding the things that you now calm your child, such as a favorite color, material or object. Add a weighted blanket on a soft bean bag or a sensory swing that he or she can be cradled in.
Choose Furniture For Durability
The furniture you put into your child's bedroom needs to be strong and durable. From sensory-seeking actions to physical meltdowns, the furniture needs to be able to stand up to it. In addition, the spatial awareness problems that kids on the spectrum have often lead to bumping into, knocking over or otherwise hitting furniture in the room. Choose furniture that's too heavy to be knocked over or that can be anchored to the wall and the floor.
Swap Out The Breakables
Don't eliminate furniture as an option just because it comes with a mirror or glass-paneled doors. Instead, just remove the mirror or swap the doors out for solid panels. When you shop for furniture with a custom furniture shop, you can have things adjusted to meet the specific needs of your child. This may allow you to still get the wardrobe closet that fits the style of the room without risking glass shattering or other problems.
Address Fundamental Safety Concerns
When you have a child on the spectrum, you understand that spatial awareness often leads to colliding with door jambs, walls, furniture and other things. In addition, the motor skill struggles can also lead to clumsiness. Protect your child by avoiding furniture with sharp corners. Look for rounded edges, then cushion those edges with padding.
Skip the desk and chair in favor of a bean bag or balance ball. It's also important that you avoid things like straps, ropes and strings. If you install window blinds or curtains, make sure the ties and straps are well out of reach and clipped so they are secure. This reduces the risk of choking or getting tangled in things. Your child's occupational therapist may also have other tips for ensuring safety in your child's space, so ask before you go shopping.
Your child's bedroom should be a welcome escape or a sensory sanctuary. With the tips presented here and on websites like http://buckscountyestatetraders.com/ and the help of a furniture retailer in your area, you can create a room that will allow him or her to relax without worry about any injuries or issues due to meltdowns, accidents or sensory activities.