According to a story from The Columbus Dispatch, a variety of disorders, such as autism, can cause issues with sensory processing. What this means is that people on the autism spectrum can get overstimulated easily, leading to a negative reaction. Sometimes even an object as everyday as a certain rug or a very bright light can be a trigger. If you are living with a person with sensory processing issues, making some changes to your home can really make a difference in allowing the person to feel comfortable.
Making a Safe Space
Having a room in the home that is dedicated to accommodating the needs of a child on the autism spectrum isn’t necessarily a simple process, but the difference in quality of life is more than worth it. The first step is to consult an expert in order to determine the sensory preferences and needs of the child. Examples of changes that can be made are the installation of blinds to control lighting, changing wall colors to more neutral tones, soundproofing, buying quieter appliances, or ensuring neat methods for storage to avoid overstimulating clutter.
The ultimate goal is to develop a place that the child can use a refuge or safe space. Many of us have our own such space somewhere in our homes, be it a certain cozy room or couch, or even a favorite chair. One in every 59 children born today are on the autism spectrum, so the need for parents to understand how their children respond to stimuli is paramount. As many as 75 percent of children living with autism experience symptoms of sensory-processing disorder.
No One Size Fits All
One important factor to understand is that the specific needs of the child will vary on a case by case basis. A stimulus that one child may find enjoyable or calming may have a negative affect on another. For example, some people on the autism spectrum enjoy the movement of a rocking chair or hammock, but this could be disorienting for others. The space must be tailored to meet the individual’s sensory needs and sensitivities. It can be a matter of experimentation at times, but the difference in quality of life will pay off in the long term.