Bedroom Design Tips for a Child with Autism

by - November 12, 2019

Bedroom Design Tips for a Child with Autism


A child’s bedroom is their safe haven. It’s the only place in the house that belongs to them. Having personal space is important for people of all ages, and for children, it’s just as important to have this area as they develop autonomously and grow into independent young adults. 

Children on the autism spectrum have different needs to address, such as sensory considerations. As you begin to design the room that will become their personal space and comfort zone, these considerations should influence the choices that you make. 

If your child has autism, talk to their doctor about how you can focus on their particular needs, and check out these practical suggestions to help you design the perfect bedroom.


Choose Serene Colors 

Picking a color for a bedroom can mean the difference between creating a relaxing environment or a noisy one. It goes without saying that you’ll want to go with the former. 

Bright colors or patterns can easily overstimulate the senses of children on the autism spectrum, and it can cause irritation or discomfort. When selecting a color, try to opt for lighter shades of your child’s favorite colors, and look into neutral colors such as beige and tan, or peaceful shades of blue and green. Neutral and calming colors are also more conducive to a better night’s sleep. 


Think About Insulation 

While the sound of a distant television set or a tumbling dryer can create a soothing background hum for many people, these noises can feel amplified for those with autism. Children with ASD are sensitive to sound, so be sure to address these concerns when designing your child’s bedroom. 

To help better handle unwanted noises, look into installing thick, sound-dampening carpets and sound-absorbing accessories, like soft blankets, rugs, and oversized pillows. Remember to also check the doors, windows, and floors for irritating creaks that might not be noticeable to you, but could become bothersome to your child. 


Create a Soothing, Safe Environment 

When decorating your child’s room, it’s important to create a safe room with a calm environment. The room should be situated in a way to reduce clutter, while maintaining a comfortable setting that will prevent overstimulation

For example, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder can be sensitive to light, so it’s good to be mindful of the amount of light that comes into the room. Avoid bright, fluorescent bulbs, and invest in heavy curtains to keep the sunlight out in the morning while they’re asleep. 

Safety should always be a priority for parents of all children, but common safety concerns for young neurotypical children can extend into the older years for children with autism. Here are some safety features to keep in mind: 

  • Furnishings that are sturdy and do not have sharp or overly-pointed edges (add padding if it does). 
  • Covered-up electrical outlets to prevent accidents fueled by curiosity. 
  • Furniture secured to the wall to prevent it from toppling over. 
  • Toys and other belongings in easy-to-reach places so that your child doesn’t have to climb to get them. 


Create Distinct Spaces 

Sudden changes can be a massive hurdle for those with autism, and it’s often easier for them to focus when things are set in a distinct and familiar place. 

By setting established zones within your child’s room—for playtime, learning, and sleeping—you’ll help make basic tasks easier and more predictable for them. Consider integrating a “special interests” area for them to escape and express their creativity, and include activities that fulfill their sensory needs. 


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Autism is a spectrum that covers a large range of conditions, and every person with autism is unique and different from the next person. Not everything will work perfectly at home, but the key is to let your child’s needs become present and address them accordingly. 

While it might take time and some trial and error to perfect the ideal room for your child, don’t lose sight or forget to let your child be a part of the process. They will ultimately be the best judge in determining the environment that they will be most comfortable in and spend most of their time. At the heart of it, it’s important to remember that every child is different.


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About the Author: Danny Knight

Danny is a dad living in Philadelphia. He enjoys DIY projects almost as much as raising his two children. He is the co-creator of FixItDads.com, which offers tips for home improvement projects.

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