Sensory Rooms for Autistic Children
In this post, we are going to provide you the ideas for creating a sensory room for Autistic kids. Kids affected with ASD often face problems related to the sensory development which makes them very sensitive towards various types of touch, sound, smell and visuals.
The mood swings and unpredictable behaviors of Autistic kids are often caused by the discomfort they feel in any particular environment so by creating a space that is perfect for their healthy functioning you can help them to stay calm and relaxed.
Every case of autism is different so you cannot help a lot of kids using the same method but by providing them with a few sensory tools you can find out what works for every kid. We have already discussed some sensory toys in our previous post which you can use for kids with autism but in this post, we will be focusing on various aspects of designing a room that will be conducive for their healthy behavior.
1 – Lighting
Too much of brightness is not adequate to keep the minds of kids in a relaxed state whereas very dark room can cause them to become scared and afraid so you should focus on setting the tone of the environment in a way that the lights should have a very calming effect on their mind.
Putting fancy lights in the room can also make the kids get confused and overexcited, that is why we suggest you install simple and safe lights that is soothing for the eyes of these kids.
Florescent lights above the heads are proven to provide a calming effect on people and there are many other good options like string lights, artificial candles etc.
2 – Sounds
A lot of noise in the room is very disturbing for kids with ASD, many of these kids are also sensitive to various sounds so you should keep this in mind while creating a sensory space. You can use soundproof curtains to reduce the noise in the room.
Music has proven to be very effective in changing a person’s mental state and using relaxing sounds can help you to keep these kids in a good mood. You can play the sounds of various instruments like the flute, violin, drums etc in a medium volume, using the sounds of nature can also fulfill your purpose.
3 – Toys and Tools
Keeping in mind the development of vestibular senses and other motor skills, you should put the toys and objects that help these kids to pass their time while doing something that is good for their health. For this, you can include items like a bouncer and climber, bouncing teeter-totter, corrugated blocks, sensa rock, etc. You will find more information about these items in our post on cerebral and sensory development tools.
4 – Furniture
The furniture of the room should be such that it should provide comfort to the highly sensitive body of kids with ASD, whereas it should also be safe considering that these kids are very energetic as well as restless. You should install chairs that have a soft cushion and a few bean bags can also help. Kids with ASD often requires a lot of body movements in order to control their hyperactiveness so you can incorporate things like exercise balls, rocking chair, mini-trampoline, etc.
Some kids require deep pressure to calm their minds, so you can create a private space for them by filling up the area with a lot of blankets, pillows and stuffed animals.
5 – Aroma
Various kinds of aromas are soothing to our mind, so making use of scents can greatly help to keep autistic kids in a good mood. Do not fill up the room with too strong aromas because it can confuse the children, use a simple mild good scent to just make the room smell good. For this, you can also make use of essential oil and incense candles.
Many of the therapists make use of sensory rooms for treating kids with autism but with a little knowledge about the disorder, anybody can create this space in their house. Despite taking all the necessary precautions while creating this room you should supervise them regularly.
Here’s a Youtube video on sensory integration space for autistic kids:-
If you are looking for some resources for autistic kids then we highly recommend you to check out the program named “Parenting Children with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers“.
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