Most people on the autism spectrum also have something called sensory processing disorder. This makes them either over- or under-sensitive to sensory inputs, including patterns, colors, sounds, smells, and textures.
When you have a child on the spectrum, it’s important to ensure that their home environment — particularly their bedroom — is designed around these sensory differences. Creating a sensory bedroom doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, but it can make a difference in how comfortable your child is at home and how easily they will thrive in that environment.
Walls and Colors
Loud wallpaper patterns are a definite no, as they can trigger sensory overload and stress out an autistic child. When it comes to choosing colors for the walls, furniture, and decor, bear in mind that children with autism tend to perceive colors more intensely. This means bright colors can often be overwhelming, and bright white can be just as bad. So, stick to pale shades of
green, blue, and pink for a soothing environment. Also, keep posters and other wall hangings to a minimum. If you want to liven the space up, use a chalkboard wall or even a simple cork board to allow your child to create their own wall decorations.
Clutter and Organization
Minimalism, or the art of living with less stuff, is having a moment. However, when it comes to children with autism, it is less of a trendy lifestyle and more of a necessity. Minimizing the visual stimuli in the room can help a child concentrate and feel more relaxed. This means getting rid of toys, clothes, and knick-knacks that aren’t particularly beloved or don’t serve a purpose. Good Housekeeping has a useful guide to decluttering a kid’s room, with a focus on keeping the child involved and creating an organized environment where everything has a “home.”
Smells and Air Quality
People with autism often have a heightened sense of smell, so it is useful to make sure your child’s room always smells pleasant. If they have smells they respond positively to, you can use candles and essential oils. If they simply don’t like smells, ventilate the room during the day when they are at school and clean the room regularly using non-toxic, neutral-smelling products.
These steps will also help the room stay pollutant-free. Poor-quality air can impact a child’s health, even causing asthma or other respiratory illnesses. An air purifier from companies such as Lennox can definitely help, as long as the sound does not trigger your child’s oversensitivity. If you do get an air purifier, make sure you replace the HVAC filter regularly — it is easy to buy the filters you need through online on websites like FilterBuy.
Good lighting is crucial in an autism-friendly sensory bedroom. Fluorescent lighting is the worst option, as the flickering can easily trigger sensory overload for people with autism. Instead, use various sources of soft lighting so the light in the room is easily controlled.
Learn a bit about the different types of lighting — ambient, accent, and task — and how these could be combined for a relaxing effect. A good example would be a soft ambient light with a dimmer with several sources of task lighting for reading, homework, or hobbies.
Overall, the most important thing is that you keep your child looped into the process of building the best possible bedroom for them. Every child with autism is different, and each one has very specific preferences when it comes to visuals, textures, smells, and so on. Keep these guidelines in mind, but don’t hesitate to use their feedback.
About the Author
Jenny Wise is a stay at home parent to four beautiful children.
To find out more about Jenny please check out her website: http://specialhomeeducator.com/welcome-to-my-blog/
Featured in Home & Garden Magazine...
HOME & GARDEN, a special section of the Record Review, featured a very informative article on 'The Power of Paint' in the April 2016 edition. The article focused on the effect paint can have on transforming a room to create a mood, or provide a particular ambience.
"It [paint] unifies space, delineates architectural molding and trim, shows off proportions and highlights planes and surfaces," states Traci Dutton Ludwig, author of the article. "It is the key to any successful interior design project. "
Ms. Ludwig sought out long time Bedford resident Bill Bradsell, owner of Bradsell Painting & Carpentry, an expert in the field of painting with over 30 years experience. She asked him to provide insight into how to select the right color and sheen to achieve a client's goals.
"Color is such a personal thing," expressed Mr. Bradsell. "Many clients choose color based on the furnishings of their room. However, when doing a whole house, we will create flow by carrying a ceiling or trim color throughout each room."
The most dramatic color Bill has worked with:
dark blue high gloss on the walls of a family room.
The result? "Absolutely stunning!"
Click here for full article.
How do you paint a ceiling over a swimming pool?
Wow that is HIGH!
Thank goodness our painters don't fear heights. Sanding, caulking and prepping at those heights can be daunting. Each tongue and groove had to be caulked and the resin had to be treated with a special blocking primer. To address the poor air circulation, a new ceiling fan will be installed over the pool.
It's all about the prep, about the prep
no trouble, no trouble ...
it's all about the prep...
READY, SET, GO
It's true the prep always takes the most time and in this case the prep was enormous.
The cedar wood ceiling prep consisted of:
Stay tuned...now that we are all set up...
Let the painting begin!
stay tuned to Blizzard Outside...Paradise In
To Prime Or Not To Prime, That Is The Question?
Often people relate the most boring mundane activity with the quip,
"it was about as much fun as watching paint dry."
Being, in the business, we've seen our share of paint dry ...............,ZZzzzzzzzzz
Or is it?
To our trained painter's eye, watching paint dry can be quite fascinating. There's a whole world of microscopic activity going on and we barely notice. If we were to hop on Ms. Frivel's magic school bus and fly into the paint we would dive through the top coat and enter the world of the under coat, where it all begins.
The original surface can be anything: wood, sheetrock, metal. The key is the surface must be smooth, free from irregularities and porous. It must be prepared to 'welcome' its new best friend, 'paint.' They can bond and live a happy fruitful life together.
Much like a stamp needs a thin layer of glue to bond to an envelope as it travels across the world, paint needs primer to bond it to the original surface. The primer is multi-talented as it protects the original surface and absorbs the paint on top to ensure penetration.
"Once the original surface is primed," states Bill Bradsell, "it's time to paint!"
Often, a client will call and ask, "does my painting estimate include priming?"
As Alan Greenspan would say, "it depends."
"When it comes to painting surfaces that already have paint on them, the key is to meticulously prepare the surface for paint, " says Bradsell. "In the business we refer to this as making the surface 'toothy.' We will spend an exorbitant amount of time in the caulk, putty and sand phase to ensure the surface has a toothy grit allowing the paint to adhere to it."
The goal is to create a bonding surface NOT to create multiple layers of paint, which create a heavy and thick look, especially noticeable on window and door trim.
This surface has bare wood and painted wood.
After all , the star of the show is the paint. The primer simply sets the stage .