Home is where the heart is. In all the madness and sadness of the world, at the end of the day, this is our haven. But for someone on the autism spectrum, the chaos is much more intense.
We can’t possibly relate to them. Therefore, special attention needs to be paid to give them this sense of safety. It is better to take steps early to make sure your house is a harmless place instead of saying do not do this or that as your child may get hurt. So, it is better to childproof your house instead of restricting your child.
Childproofing staircases, electrical boards, and gateways by using locks on the cabinets will be a wise move. Kids with autism can hurt themselves when they are upset, by throwing things, eating dodgy items off surfaces, chewing on random household tools and wires, flushing necessary things down and climbing out of the window.
Children with autism spectrum don’t understand the risks or the ramifications of these actions. So, modifying and creating a safer home is a better choice.
Here’s how you can make your home environment for Autistic Child :
Arrange the Furniture Appropriately to Avoid Accidents
It’s important to consider where you place your furniture. Placement is a major activity both for keeping a house safe and for making accident-proof. Arrange the house in a way that makes sense and keep your autistic child in mind while doing so.
Consider whether your child prefers to stay seated instead of roaming around, and make sure that you have the appropriate chairs and tabletops. Don’t clutter your house. Arrange furniture so that there is space to roam around. Rooms filled with furniture feel a bit suffocating and congested. Also, less furniture means fewer accidents.
Always remember to clean the furniture surfaces regularly. Keep hazardous detergents, chemicals, cleaning supplies, pesticides, medications, etc. in a safe place.
Sensory room equipment is safer and more comfortable for individuals with ASD. Invest in these types of furniture.
Lock Hazardous Items Away
For an individual with ASD, it is hard to differentiate between cleaning fluids and juice or soft drinks. So, they might end up drinking harmful substances without realizing it. You should lock these items in a cabinet or drawer.
It is normal for an individual with ASD to get confused with harmful tools and substances so keep lighters, sharp tools (Scissors, Clippers, Kimball/Tag guns, knives, Drill hole spikes, Notch punchers, Tweezers, Cutting pins, etc), medicines and other harmful components on a high shelf or rack. They might mix up pills with candies so always keep your pills in a tight box that locks.
Keep the phone number of poison control in easy reach.
Many children with autism like to throw things away and cut clothing or curtains. Always keep your child under constant supervision and lock your valuables away.
Label Every Item
Place labels on every container, drawer, cabinet, closet, bins, etc. Mark them and teach your children about the good signs and bad signs. Labeling everything will help children with ASD to understand and have an idea about household products and rooms much better. A good labeled environment may help them to understand the usage and purpose of these products. For example, put a picture of cooking on a salt jar so that they know what it is used for.
Putting labels on drawers will help your child to know which clothes belong where and even they might help you put the right stuff in the right places. Putting visual labels (symbols, photos, words, textures) on boxes will help the child to identify what goes where.
Make Electrical Outlets and Appliances Safe
Keep your child safe from electrical appliances by covering the electric outlets or removing them. Attaching plastic door knob covers will help to minimize the risks.
The most crucial part you need to focus on is concealing the wires. Kids with ASD are fascinated with chewing wires. You can use STOP signs on electrical outlets to keep your children away.
TeachYour Child Not to Trust Strangers
At some point, your child will start responding to a knock at the door. Research shows that children with ASD are very trusting. They cannot differentiate between trustworthy and untrustworthy people.
They cannot read facial expressions. Although neurotypical kids possess the innate prowess of determining the motives of people just by taking a look at their faces, those on the spectrum are genuinely unable to do so.
So, you should teach your child not to trust strangers.
From the outside, your house may look like your average house. But from the inside, your house is special. Parents with autistic children need to maintain these above-mentioned safety precautions to keep their families safe. Good luck!