If you are raising a child with autism, you aren’t alone. An estimated 1 in 59 children has been diagnosed with the disorder, and many children go undiagnosed for years. As a parent, raising a son or daughter with autism presents unique challenges. Communicating with your little one may be difficult, for example. While you can’t control your child’s autism, you can take control of the environment in your home, and take steps to make it a comfortable space where both you and your little one feel at ease. The below steps are affordable and don’t require huge effort, but they will make your day-to-day life easier.
Make the house easier to navigate using cheap DIY visual cues
Children with autism may struggle with verbal communication. Depending on where they are on the spectrum, kids may even be completely nonverbal. In order to make home an easy space to navigate, rely on visual cues that kids will find easier to comprehend. For example, you can find free images online and print them out to label objects. You can even take photos on your phone and have them printed out using an online service. Kids can show you what they want by presenting a photo, for example of their favorite stuffed animal. You can also use visual cues to organize the house. Get some affordable school or office supplies, like color markers and stickers, and create visual cues. If there are rooms your child shouldn’t enter, like an office, these could be marked off with red colored tape, for example.
Create a quiet space where your kid can unwind when needed
Individuals with autism are extremely sensitive to their surroundings. Medical professionals believe they have delicate sensory systems, making them more receptive to the slightest changes in sight and hearing. To avoid overloading your child, which can lead to distress and potential temper tantrums, create a quiet space where they can unwind. If you can’t block out outside noises like cars honking and dogs barking, consider getting a white noise machine to play a steady hum that will drown out these interferences. To make the space cozy and comforting, equip it with your child’s favorite objects, like a blanket or stuffed animal they like. These soft items can also be soothing; according to Otismo, people on the autism spectrum also have a heightened sense of touch.
Create an autism-friendly playzone on a budget
Due to their sensory sensitivity, kids with autism may not enjoy toys that are noisy. Create a play section in your home that meets their unique needs. Steer clear of electronic items that beep or sing, and opt for quiet toys like legos. Other great toys for little ones on the spectrum include playfoam, bean bags, and wooden playsets. You don’t have to break the bank to equip your playroom. Check out yard sales and second-hand shops, and scour neighborhood Facebook groups for used goods. Since kids grow quickly, they often lose interest in their toys before they’ve been used much. This means many gently used items are practically good as new.
Look online to save money on the above items
Whether you’re shopping for toys or office supplies, look to budget retailers to get the goods you need. Target offers all of the goods listed above and has family-friendly prices that won’t leave your wallet empty. You can maximize savings by shopping online. With deal sites like Rakuten, you can snag a Target coupon code or earn cash back. You can even sign up to get regular email alerts about the latest savings specials. This will keep your household budget in line.
While raising a child with autism isn’t always easy, these tips will allow you to create a cozy home space that will help keep them calm. Best of all, you don’t have to spend big bucks in the process.
Photo Credit: Pexels.com
Contributed By Daisy Jones