How to Decorate a Room for Your Autistic Child

Decorating a child's room isn't always a simple task, and potential problems are increased when you have an autistic child. You want to create a space that helps your child to feel safe, calm and relaxed, without spending a fortune. The decorating tips below will help you to make the right design choices and manage the entire decorating process as easily as possible. Before you know it, you'll have a lovely new room to enjoy with your child.

Use calming wall colours

Soft, soothing colours like blue and green have been shown to have a calming effect on mood, while colours like bright red and orange can increase feelings or anger or irritability. Try to choose soft, soothing shades to keep your child relaxed while spending time in their room. Darker colours can help create an environment that's more conducive to sleep, and work well with blackout curtains. If you can't decide on a single colour, or your child has several favourites, consider having one feature wall in a bold, bright colour, and painting the rest of the room in a more neutral shade.

Dedicate space to special interests

As autistic children often have very intense special interests, incorporating these into your child's room is a great way to help them feel and happy and positive while they're at home. If they're particularly interested in a certain TV program or character, see if you can find wallpaper featuring a relevant design. If your child cycles through many interests, consider using special magnetic paint to create a wall for posters. You can change what's displayed as often as your child's interests change, so there's no risk of spending a fortune on a dinosaur-themed room, only to find they're obsessed with insects a week later.

Let your child be involved in the process

Change can be hard for children with autism, and involving your child in the planning and decorating process as much as possible will give them time to adjust. By letting them help you pick colours, wallpaper and designs, your child should feel happy and excited about their new room. You could also them to draw a picture of their ideal room or give them a selection of paint charts to look though. If you're hiring a professional painter, ask if they can talk your child through what they're going to do. This helps assuage any fears and makes your child feel respected.