Coming up with a suitable bedroom for a child with special needs, whether ADHD, autism or something else, is a bit of a challenge at first. For parents with little real-world experience of what will set a child off into a negative behavioral spiral, it’s impossible to know what to do. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you with that.
Here are a few suggestions for how to prepare a bedroom appropriately to suit a special needs child.
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Developing a Relaxing Living Environment
Soothing colors like greens, blues and browns are ideal for any child who finds it difficult to relax. Kids with Attention Deficit Disorder will welcome any of these three colors particularly. Relaxing colors aid improved learning, and the areas that color affects children include the walls, the sofa fabric and color, the comforter and sheet colors, and other aspects that would otherwise go unnoticed. Indeed, any interior design in a child’s bedroom must first attend to their special needs for a calm environment and only afterward consider design aesthetics, and not the other way around.
Keeping distractions to a minimum is best. Minimalism is better and avoid clutter completely. Kids that overreact to any kind of visual distraction won’t manage well in an environment that’s too cluttered and looks “busy” in their eyes. Make copious use of cupboards and drawers to neatly put things away to keep the bedroom clear of distractions.
Create Separation Between Functional Areas
For children who have special needs, separating out different areas of a bedroom is useful because it prevents a sense of overwhelm for them. When they can see too much, their brains cannot be calm. For the windows, consider blackout curtains because they’re likely to remove as much outdoor light as possible to control their light environment.
Outside of the direct bedroom space, use visual separators to create different sections in the room. Each area can have its own purpose with a suitable color-coded design. For learning time, a more stimulating area using colors that activate the brain will work well in kids who respond to that and where it won’t cause a negative response.
Use of Electronics in the Bedroom
The use of electronics with special needs kids is different to other children. How the child responds depends partly on their type of special need and their personal reaction as each child is their own little person too. In general, electronic devices should serve a useful purpose and contribute rather than distract or annoy. You don’t want the electronics contributing to a stuttering problem in a young child. However, if it does, there are stuttering exercises that help reduce the frequency and may eradicate the problem altogether.
To give a couple of examples relating to electronics, a machine that can project pretty pictures either on the wall or the ceiling is likely to please and relax a child who will find this fascinating. To aid with sleep, a white noise machine is okay, but they’re often too strong and noisy. In many ways, a fan in the corner to help reduce noise in the rest of the home is likely to be more effective. The use of separators creating zones within the bedroom helps to reduce noise too.
When decorating and planning the interior of a bedroom for a child with special needs, it’s a good idea to not rush anything. Get the best advice, consider colors and textures, and see how they respond to them before spending a great deal of money on a bedroom makeover.