Bedroom Essentials for Children on the Autism Spectrum

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A person’s bedroom should be a safe and comfortable refuge to come to after a long day. For children, it should also be a place that fosters productivity and creativity for homework and playing. Because children on the autism spectrum often experience difficulty sleeping and can be easily distracted, parents must sometimes take extra measures to ensure their child’s bedroom meets their needs. If your child is on the spectrum and you need to make changes to their bedroom, this article will help you get started.

Colors

One essential part of creating a calming bedroom is painting the walls a soothing color. Blue is a popular choice because it is generally thought to promote sleep. There are many different appealing shades of blue to choose from, and it goes with many other colors nicely. However, there are other color palettes that can benefit restful sleep (e.g., green, coral, beige, gray), and it’s important to factor in what colors your child likes.

Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements in the bedroom of a child on the spectrum. Many children with sensory sensitivity are bothered by fluorescent lighting because they pick up on the intermittent patterns that people without a sensitivity usually don’t notice (i.e., the barely audible buzz, the minute flickering of light). To help prevent your child from being distracted or irritated, consider going with full-spectrum, LED, or incandescent lights. Also, it can be helpful to do away with overhead lighting of any kind, especially if there are hard floors in the room, because that can create a glare. Instead, opt for desk lamps and/or wall fixtures.

Clutter

No one likes clutter in their living space, but it can be especially bothersome to a child on the spectrum. Consider adding attractive storage solutions such as bins, baskets, or organizers to keep toys, bedding, and other items neatly put away when not in use. Another way to create a clean and organized atmosphere is to adjust the layout of the room so that there is open space in the middle for playing and doing homework.

Noise

Like with color and light, children on the spectrum can be extra sensitive to noise. Things like a distant siren, a train passing by, or commotion in the living room can distract them from their homework and disturb their sleep. Therefore, you’ll want to take steps to mitigate outside noise in their bedroom. One way to do this is by adding thick curtains and putting in high-piled carpet or area rugs. Extra blankets and pillows can also absorb sound. If extraneous noise is especially loud, consider investing in wall panels. For bedtime, white noise machines and/or soothing music at a low volume can also help them sleep more soundly.

Furniture

Lastly, furniture is a factor in creating a good bedroom for your child. Sharp edges are never a good idea in a child’s bedroom, so opt for furniture with round edges or apply padding/bumpers to furniture you already have. Also, to prevent furniture from tipping over, consider moving all the pieces to the wall and anchoring them (this also opens up space in the center of the room for playing and homework). When it comes to their bed, you can help avoid accidents by putting your child’s mattress and box spring directly on the floor, thus eliminating the need for a frame. If you or your child prefers a different type of bed, check out this article for safe ideas.

If your child is on the spectrum, you can make sure their bedroom meets their needs by considering a few factors. Choose a soothing color for the walls and put in lighting that won’t be irritating. Declutter and organize all items in the room and look into options for mitigating extraneous noise. Finally, ensure that all the furniture pieces are free of sharp edges and won’t tip over. Taking measures like these can significantly improve your child’s sleep and help them stay focused on their tasks.

Author: Jenny Wise

Jenny Wise is a stay-at-home parent of four children, home-educator, and blogger who writes about her journey and the challenges parents and home educators of autism experience.

Special Home Educator
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California Easing Housing Restrictions: "The biggest thing that’s happened in 15 years"

Recently in California a groundbreaking law was enacted to give much needed relief to the high demand of Bay Area residential housing. Within the past year, the Bay area has received a great deal of attention for having three of the ten most expensive cities to live in the country. Many middle class and low income residents are being priced out of their communities and forced to find alternative options due to price increases and competitive demand for housing and rental units. As of this year state lawmakers are making efforts to address these issues by allowing residents to utilize their existing property to supplement the housing shortage.

Many Bay Area resident's solution to this problem is moving into the secondary commuter towns outside the main hub of the Bay Area, downsizing or moving into family living situations. Many of the the residents most affected by the hike in prices are the elderly, poor, and young people that are on a fixed income, work in low skilled jobs, or attend school. A popular solution is opting to live with relatives or finding unique living alternatives.

This increase in demand has spurred an influx of home owners looking to utilize their loft spaces, garage units, or secondary units. Some are looking to build onto their existing structures or even add a secondary unit, such as “in-law” or “granny” unit, to their property to accommodate or capitalize on the demand for alternative living situations. Many of these homeowners have faced friction when attempting to exercise their options to accommodate additional residents, but as of January 1st 2017 many homeowners and residents are receiving support from state lawmakers to try to ease the housing shortage. The Mercury News did a piece on this topic that laid out the intent of the law stating:   

From: Mercury News    

In a move proponents say will help ease the Bay Area’s housing crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 1069, making the so-called “granny units” easier and less expensive to build throughout the state.

Supporters of the bill, including the Bay Area Council, argue that easing restrictions could spur the creation of more affordable housing, especially in a region where rent has skyrocketed.

“The governor’s action is an important step in addressing California’s massive housing shortage,” Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, said in a statement. “The success of SB 1069 represents a major victory for thousands of Californians who are struggling under the weight of skyrocketing rents and home prices.”

The bill’s author, Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, said that when he was working in city government years ago few of these units were being built, largely because of the high amount of fees homeowners had to pay. “It’s the biggest thing that’s happened in 15 years to relieve some of these barriers and return that power to the homeowner,” Wieckowski said.
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If just 10 percent of the Bay Area’s 1.5 million owners of single-family homes created granny flats for family members or other tenants, that would add 150,000 new units, the Bay Area Council estimates.
— Queenie Wong | Mercury News

In response to this new law, right now is a great opportunity to expand the utility and value of your property by capitalizing on the streamlined process designed to relieve communities of price and rent  increases over the next couple of years. In addition, because of innovative opportunities like AirBnb and Kid & Coe that allow property owners to connect directly with renters or travelers, we are likely to see a trend of growth in the development of alternative housing.  It may be an opportunity worth considering for many residents in the Bay Area seeking extra income or an increase in the value of their homes.  


 

Aptos Foothills Remodel Completion

Nestled in the forest of the Aptos foothills is a well-designed, 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath custom coastal craftsman home built by Phillip Price Construction. The interior of this 3,000+ sqf home has been completely redone from the ground up. Some of the structural redesign elements utilize the open floor plan by introducing raw steel beams, additional kitchen square footage, and open passageways. This pleasant home has been transformed over the past year into a tranquil living space with rich hardwood floors, quartzite island counter tops, blue marble kitchen surfaces, and grand stone fireplace surroundings. The railings, beams, doors, and cabinetry have been upgraded to solid knotty alder and stained to match the rich wood and earthy paint tones that run fluidly through each room. The new Jeld-wen stain grade windows, new skylights, and large 8 ft. sliding doors let plenty of natural light pour into the home connecting the luxury of modern home comforts to the beauty of the surrounding forest. This remodel is furnished with some of the finest Viking appliances, a 72” curved HD TV, full-house surround sound, and alarm system controlled by a singular hand held network connected device. This home also features a modern tub-in-shower bathroom, spacious decks, master balcony, and a large upstairs master suite that gives this home a unique touch. Phillip Price Construction is proud to add this home interior to its portfolio and moves to its exterior as the next stage of construction.