There are a lot of “serious” issues that you have to deal with when you are a parent of an autistic child. However, there are also a lot of fun things that you can do to help your child grow up healthy and happy. One fun activity that you can do with the help of your child is to decorate their room.
Selecting the right type of flooring for your autistic child’s bedroom is important. Having a flooring material that is water proof, that is easy to clean and that is durable is very important, especially if you are still struggling with toileting issues. Sheet linoleum works well, as does tile. You will want to avoid carpeting as it will be difficult to keep clean. To keep the floor in your child’s room warm for their feet you can purchase area rugs that can be cleaned frequently. Use a non-skid mat underneath these rugs to keep them from slipping and sliding around.
The next step is to select a wall treatment that is going to be durable and washable. You don’t want to use wall paper as many autistic children have a tendency to pick at the seams and rip the wall paper off the walls. Instead find a child-safe wall paint that is washable. If your child is particularly hard on the walls then consider installing paneling to the lower half of the walls. Paint this paneling with the washable, child-safe paint in a color that compliments the wall color you chose for the upper half of the wall. For example, you can paint the upper half of the wall light blue and the bottom half of the wall medium blue.
Like decorating a room for any child you will want to select colors that they like. Autistic children have a tendency to be very attracted to specific colors. These are the colors that you will want to use when decorating their room. For example, if they have a blanket that they love you can actually take the blanket to a paint mixer and have them scan the blanket in order to create a paint color that matches it exactly. You can also use toys, storybooks and crayons as the inspiration for your color choices.
Building in Comfort
When you are putting together the bedroom you will want to find ways to keep clutter to a minimum. This means that your storage units will need doors or shutters that can be closed to block out the visual elements of clutter. In addition to visual clutter you will also want to find ways to block out other sensory stimuli that your child may be sensitive too. For example, if they have auditory sensory issues then you can build the room so that it blocks out outside noise and household noise. This can be done by using double pane windows and by adding extra insulation to the interior walls.
Finally you will want to create a cocoon or comfort zone where your child can relax and self-sooth when they are feeling overwhelmed. This can be a corner of the room that has a swing, that has a pile of pillows or that is blocked off from the rest of the room with room dividers. This corner can also contain comfort items like fidget toys, stuffed animals and other items that help to calm your child down.