Creating a Sensory-Friendly Environment at Home

Oct 07, 2023By Autism Dads Social Club


Tips for Creating a Sensory-Friendly Environment at Home for Individuals with Autism

Living with autism can present unique challenges, especially when it comes to sensory experiences. As parents let us consider how we can make our homes accommodating to our loved ones. Creating a sensory-friendly environment at home can greatly improve the quality of life for individuals with autism and help them feel more comfortable and at ease. Of course, all autistic individuals are unique and have different sensory needs and sensitivities. Here are some tips to consider to create a sensory-friendly environment in your home:

1. Reduce Noise Levels

Noise sensitivity is common among individuals with autism. To create a quieter environment, consider using sound-absorbing materials such as carpets, curtains, or acoustic panels. Additionally, using white noise machines or playing calming music can help mask disruptive sounds.

2. Control Lighting

Lighting can greatly impact individuals with autism. Avoid fluorescent lights, which can be harsh and flicker, and opt for softer, natural lighting instead. Use curtains or blinds to control the amount of natural light coming into the space. Dimmer switches can also be helpful for adjusting the brightness levels.

3. Create a Calming Space

Having a designated calming space can provide a retreat for individuals with autism when they feel overwhelmed. This space should be quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions. Consider including soft seating, a bean bag, weighted blankets, and sensory toys to help promote relaxation.

4. Organize and Simplify

Keeping the home environment organized and clutter-free can reduce sensory overload. Use storage bins and labels to keep items neatly organized. Minimize visual distractions by choosing simple and uncluttered decor.

5. Use Visual Supports

Visual supports can be incredibly helpful for individuals with autism. Visual schedules, charts, and timers can provide a clear understanding of daily routines and activities. Use visual cues to help individuals transition between tasks and understand expectations.

6. Consider Sensory-Friendly Furniture

When selecting furniture, opt for sensory-friendly options. Look for chairs and sofas with soft, comfortable cushions. Consider furniture with smooth textures and rounded edges to minimize sensory sensitivities.

7. Offer Sensory Experiences

Providing opportunities for sensory exploration can be beneficial for individuals with autism. Consider incorporating sensory-friendly activities such as sensory bins, tactile play, or art projects that involve different textures and materials.

8. Establish Predictable Routines

Individuals with autism often thrive on predictability and routine. Establishing consistent daily routines can help create a sense of stability and reduce anxiety. Clearly communicate and visually represent the daily schedule to provide a clear understanding of what to expect.

Observe your autistic child's particular sensory needs and sensitivities.  Consider how you can create a sensory-friendly environment at home that promotes comfort, reduces sensory overload, and enhances your loved one's overall well-being.