Creating a Safe and Comfortable Backyard
for a Child with Autism by Kristin Louis
Every parent wants to do what’s best for their child. When you’re taking care of a child with autism, however, it can be tricky to figure out what, exactly, is best. Autism is a highly individualized condition. Though defined by some common traits, the way these traits manifest—and how intense they are—varies wildly for people along the spectrum.
Moreover, our understanding of autism is still evolving, and recommendations can change rapidly. It’s important to pay close attention, stay flexible, and focus on finding the tools and coping methods that work best for your little one. One way you can help your child thrive is to create a backyard designed just for them and their needs. To ensure this space is safe and enriching, you can try following this guide created by Kristin Louis and presented by Mom’s Turn Journal.
How to make sure your yard is designed with safety in mind.
- Asthma and eczema are both more common in children with ASD, so being aware of any allergy triggers and avoiding plants that can cause problems can help.
- You can put a fence up to prevent wandering or elopement.
- Consider the conditions of your trees and whether any dying branches need to be removed to promote safety.
Considering Their Comfort
You and your child likely have very different ideas on what makes a yard a comforting space, here are a few recommendations.
- By involving your children as much as possible in the planning process, you’ll get their input, and they won’t be surprised by the final product.
- Many people with autism have texture sensitivity, so if your child doesn’t like the feeling of grass, consider putting in an alternative ground cover.
- Create a quiet space, such as a grove or a playhouse, where your child can recuperate if they get overstimulated.
Embracing Their Interests
If you keep your child’s special interests in mind, you can make the yard of their dreams. Here’s a few tips to
- If your little one loves science, you can create a large space where you can perform experiments together.
- There are also tons of outdoor art projects you can share with a budding creative.
- If you haven’t already, introduce your child to gardening, and you may find it’s a new passion.
- Does your child have a fear of storms? Help them learn to safely spot storms and follow local weather patterns. This can help them manage their fears.
- Spending time with your kids is important; if you’re a busy parent, remember to set aside time to get involved with your child and their interests. Utilizing your yard space can provide a platform for activities and quality hours spent together
Keeping your child’s needs and interests in mind as you plan the yard will help you end up with something wonderful. You can also seek input from a doctor, therapist, teacher, or other trusted member of your support team. Creating a space made for them is a great way to show your love.
This guide is just one example of the great content you’ll find on Mom’s Turn Journal.
Photo Credit: Pixabay