Raising children with special needs can sometimes be exhausting and frustrating; but, it can also be a joyful and rewarding experience. They require some extra care and thorough attention, which can make the roads bumpier for the parents. However, parents can learn a little wisdom to navigate those bumpier parts of the road.
Top Home Décor Tips to Care for Special Needs Children
When you are parenting a special needs child, you need to pay more attention to things in daily life, even within your own home. You need to ensure that your home is a 100% safe (and safer) environment for your child. Parents need to consider more circumstances to make the home not only secure but also functional. There can be minor modifications like changing to hypoallergenic linen sheets and accessible doorknobs. For instance, it can be a major one depending on the children’s needs. We need to make those adjustments to make the home a haven where your child can get a well-deserved break from the outside world.
Here are some home décor tips you can apply to care for special needs children. By following these tips, you can make your room a special place for your children to make them feel safe and independent at the same time. It might help you as well to ease your daily task in parenting special needs children.
Understand the Special Needs
Before adjusting your home décor, you need to understand your child’s needs. Getting as crystal clear as possible on the diagnosis will help you learn what it means and how it will impact your child’s life. Then, you need to identify the needs and the main issues your child is facing. Identifying them and anticipating any risk that might come with them help you to determine how you should adjust your house to cater to their needs.
To be as accurate as possible is a crucial factor in redesigning your home. You might need to seek help and consult your doctor, specialists, or pediatrician. You can also learn wisdom from the community and fellow parents of special needs children. Get as many inputs as possible before formulating your redesign plan.
Design with the Special Needs in Mind
Now that you have identified the needs and anticipated any possibilities, you need to stick to your sole purpose: to make a safe and functional house for your child. Therefore, you need to design with your child’s needs in mind. These tips might not be an all-for-one guide, but this will help you get the idea of what you might need to prepare for different needs.
Children with Physical Disabilities
Accessibility is always the foremost concern when designing or redesigning your house for a special needs child with a physical disability. Ease for mobility is the key. Your child must be able to navigate easily around the house and reach their shelves, drawers, switches, door handles, and belongings without any big hassle.
Use more horizontal shelves, and drawers placed closer to the ground. You might want to change your doorknobs into something more reachable and easier to operate without sacrificing its function. As for the switches, you can place them lower and make sure they are easy to reach after your child grows. Alternatively, you can change to motion sensor switches or state-of-the-art voice controls.
If your child is in a wheelchair, you need to ensure there is enough space in the room for mobility, including making a turn. Avoid doors that block access to rooms and stairs. You need to also pay attention to desks and tables. Ensure they are high enough and deep enough for wheelchairs. For that, you might want to invest in adjustable ones to accommodate your child when they grow.
Children with Autism
Autistic children might fall along different spectrums and get triggered by various stimuli. Every child has different sensory needs and tolerance. Therefore, you may need to start with healthy sensory environments.
With a healthy sensory environment, you have provided opportunities for movement, simulation, and lack thereof. It might be beneficial to have several areas with different colors and lights to set up different moods and activities. Autistic children usually can be fully consumed by specific topics. Therefore, it might be a good idea to dedicate a particular area to focus on those interests. You might also want to devote a separate room for dining and resting, preferably ones that do not get interrupted by outside stimuli.
Consider using heavy furniture bolted to the walls and low shelves to minimize the risk of climbing and frustration. You can also utilize blinds to control the light of the room. It is good to know that natural lighting is better for mood than artificial lighting. It might also be good to invest in natural fabrics, like linens, which you can use in particular areas. You can also use linen for blackout curtains to help control the light and regulate the room’s temperature. Linen can also be applied to the bedding set up to give a softer and alleviating touch that may reduce anxieties.
Children with Asthma and Allergies
In dealing with asthma and other common indoor allergies, you need to keep your home allergen-free at any cost. To make your home hypoallergenic, you must make sure that the house is clean and dry all the time.
Make your house clutter-free and avoid overstuffed furniture as it might collect dust and other allergens, like pollen, dander, and mold spores. Also, strip carpets off of your house because they can contribute to it. Another efficient step to prevent any trigger to allergies is to substitute your furniture fabrics with hypoallergenic linens. Your kids will be interacting with bedsheets, mattress covers, and pillowcases; therefore, choosing allergy-free materials for those items is only logical. You can also use linens for upholsteries, especially in areas prone to dust and mites, since linens are easier to launder without any risk of wear and tear.
Last but not least, you can bring air purifiers into the rooms where your children spend the most time, such as their bedroom and their playroom. Choose an allergy-free purifying device that does not emit ozone back into your room.
Listen to Your Child’s Feedback
Your home décor adjustment might help your special needs child to find a haven in their own home. However, you should adapt to the new arrangement and make the transition as smooth as possible. When your child is old enough, you might want to get them involved in the process of making the house a friendly space for them. Listen to their feedback and observe their growth. Some adjustments you make earlier might be irrelevant as time goes by; but, it is always recommendable to let them communicate what they need.