Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tips for Creating a Functional and Organized Home for Families with Autism

Children diagnosed with autism thrive in a highly structured environment. Creating a functional and organized environment which incorporates predictable routines can reduce environmental “surprises.” Visual cues can be used in the home environment to facilitate independence and eliminate those “surprises” which often overwhelm the child. For example, labels (word + picture) can be placed around the home to indicate the location of personal and household items such as clothing, utensils, and personal hygiene products. Labeling areas of the home that are consistently part of the child’s routine (bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen) will help the child with organization, movement and understanding of physical space, memory, and problem solving. In addition, providing a consistent daily schedule with picture cues will teach independence in the home setting. By facilitating these skills, the child’s development will be positively impacted. As a result, the child will be able to manage predictable routines in the home setting without frustration.

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