Discover the top 10 ways to create an autism-friendly haven within your home

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash

Creating an autism-friendly home environment is crucial for promoting comfort, safety, and independence for children on the autism spectrum. Parents can foster an environment that supports their child’s well-being and development by implementing sensory-friendly design, organisation, and routine strategies.

Mark Blakey, a writer for Autism Parenting Magazine, discusses the top ten ways to create an autism-friendly home for your child.

Minimise Sensory Overload

Children with autism can be sensitive to certain sounds, lights, and textures. Blakey says, ‘Consider using soft lighting, noise-cancelling headphones, and sensory-friendly materials to create a calming environment.’

Establish Consistent Routines

Routines provide structure and predictability, which can be comforting for children with autism. Develop consistent routines for daily activities, such as mealtimes, bedtimes, and playtime.

Create A Sensory-Friendly Space

Designate a quiet, low-stimulation area in your home where your child can retreat when feeling overwhelmed. This space can include comfortable seating, calming lighting, and sensory toys or activities.

Organise and Label

Clear organisation and labelling can help children with autism navigate their environment more easily. ‘Use visual cues, such as pictures or colour-coding, to label items and areas in your home,’ says Blakey.

Provide Visual Schedules

Visual schedules can help children with autism understand and anticipate daily activities and transitions. Use pictures, symbols, or written schedules to communicate routines and expectations.

Incorporate Sensory-Friendly Furniture and Decor

Choose furniture and decor that are comfortable and calming for your child. ‘Consider using soft textures, muted colours, and minimalistic designs to create a soothing environment,’ adds Blakey.

Limit Clutter

Clutter can be overwhelming and distracting for children with autism. Keep living spaces organised and free of unnecessary items to promote a sense of calm and order.

Offer Sensory-Friendly Activities

Provide sensory-friendly activities and toys that align with your child’s interests and sensory needs. These can include fidget toys, weighted blankets, or sensory bins.

Involve Your Child

Involve your child in the process of creating an autism-friendly home environment. Seek their input and preferences to ensure that the modifications meet their specific needs and promote their comfort and independence.

‘By implementing these strategies, parents can create an autism-friendly home environment that supports their child’s well-being and development,’ Blakey says. ‘These approaches promote comfort, safety, and independence, allowing children with autism to thrive within their home environment.’