10. Be clear about what you want your child’s room to inspire. Identify what the goals and challenges they presently have as well as in any and every space in your home.
9. Always be decisive about who will be using the room, if it’s going to be shared by more than one person or be utilized for more than one function.
8. What are you and your child listening to? Figure out what you want your child to be able to accomplish in their space and if need be, make a list of what scenarios you can change and what you can’t. Then you can slowly begin to deduce what sounds you can change from what sounds you can’t. At that point, you can design the natural “sound system” in your space.
*NOTE: Excuses (fear based or safety based) are not the same as situations that cannot immediately shift or change due to something that is out of our personal control, so pay attention to the difference.
7. Look at all of the lighting in your entire home. Pay close attention to how different each room feels. A general RULE to live by: stay away from all florescent lighting, period.
6. Scent. Whatever fragrance is attractive to you and is in alignment with the function you intend to accomplish is what you should surround yourself with at any given time. It has a much more significant impact than you might think! Candles, incense or natural oils are all acceptable just make sure they’re all natural.
5. Plants. Do you have any? OR, do you usually say, “I don’t have a green thumb?” Whether you do or you don’t, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you have some, period. Silk, plastic or real (the ladder, most preferred of course) – Plants make a very big difference in the home. They bring the outdoors in and create balance. They also ground us, particularly your kids – (just notice the next time you’re in a waiting room or an office that don’t have any plants – you will see how unsettling it feels. As an added benefit, keep in mind that certain plants also act as a natural air purifier as they rely on many of the chemicals in the air as their main source of food.
4. Space. We all need it and rarely feel we have enough. That said, it is very easy to create unnecessary clutter and become accustomed to it. When it comes to your child, don’t purchase furniture or use your favorite “hand me down” pieces to furnish the room until you’ve figured out exactly what he/she needs emotionally, mentally and intellectually (as well as the obvious storage needed.) Be wary of the corners, what it’s made of and that you remember that less is more. Keep as much space available as possible to avoid closing off the portions of the room.
3. Pleasing your child. Of course, we all want to make our kiddos happy, ease their anxiety and alleviate their fears. However, just because they inform you they love a particular color, theme, superhero, animal etc… (you get the picture) it does not mean you should make that request the plan for the design in your child’s room. Not everything translates to working well on a grand scale. (mainly because the design can actually exacerbate their anxiety.)
2. Containers. A big misconception about storage is that using transparent bins is helpful and saves time. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t do either of those things where your kids are concerned, especially for our children with autism. Rather, it can create visual chaos, over stimulation, anxiety, and frustration.
1. COLOR. The cornerstone to creating a room that is truly supportive of your child’s unique needs and begins to transform a space into an “assistive technology.” Imagine a room that slowly guides your child into the emotional, mental and intellectual state they need to decompress, self-soothe, concentrate, focus and connect. Imagine the same for you and the rest of your family… when done properly, the results are like night and day –
*NOTE – keep away from big bold primary colors on large spaces (unless your child is excessively lethargic) & use MYTHIC paint (1st choice) or Benjamin Moore NATURA (2nd choice)
**green, toxic free, V.O.C. free, organic, won’t harm the environment
Posted on June 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm by Lauren, your Sensory Design Specialist