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We all need a space to call out own, and that includes autistic children. Every child is different but learning their sensory needs will help you create a perfect space. No matter their sensory need, they can extremely benefit from a calming space to go relax and cool down in.
We have one for each child in our house (well, the teen just has her room. But that makes her happy). One of our spaces is an open closet transformed into a calming room, with calm lights, sensory tools, a bean bag for her to crash into, and has a light blocking curtain hanging on it.
For our son, we actually built him a smaller bedroom to help him have his own, small space to feel comfortable with calm lighting. For our third one, we got a wooden loft bed and transformed the space underneath for her so that we were using her room space the most efficiently.
Creating a calming space for your child with autism, adhd, sensory processing, or other disabilities is essential for giving them the opportunity to self-regulate.
In this resource guide, I have compiled all of the items we use throughout each of our 3 autistic children’s individual calming space. No matter what your budget may be, there are a ton of different resources to make this space their own!
Create a Calming Space for Your Autistic Child
These are all the items we use in our children’s calming spaces. Not every room has each item. Each child’s room is based on their personal sensory needs and personalities. Tailor your child’s calming space based off of their own sensory needs. This list serves as a starting point to know what you might want to look for.
- Light Blocking Curtains (pink) (blocking off a closet)
- Light Blocking Curtains (blue)
- Push Lights (create calmer lighting)
- Blue Water Sensory Projector Light and Sound (calm lights and sounds)
- TeePee (to create a space)
- Sensory LED Tube 3ft
- Reusable Sensory Water Beads
- Squishy Sensory Toys
- Weighted Blankets
- Sensory Swings
- Crash Pads
- Chewerly (Necklaces, Bracelets, & other tools to Chew on Safely)
- Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Fidget Toys (here’s a link to a bundle pack)
- Bean Bag Chairs (this one doubles as a stuffed animal storage!)
- Adult Coloring books and pencils (flowers and such)
- Coloring books, stickers, and big crayons (for our 3 year old)
That About Wrap’s It Up
As you can see, we use a ton of different sensory tools and creative resources to create each of our children’s individual calming spaces. It’s not hard at all to create a calming space for your autistic child, even on a small budget. Many of these items you can find at Dollar Tree, Amazon, and other major retailers.
Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the “Amazing Moms” coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho. She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.