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If you could design a perfect house for your ASD son(13 Posts)
We are basically remodelling a house. It was a house brought for a couple, now we have two children and it doesn't work at all - so we're doing our own grand (or not quite so grand) design.
DS1 has ASD and is 4 at the moment. It occured to me that their might be worth thinking about how ASD can affect older boys with ASD and how we may make our house as ASD friendly as possible.
If you could make changes to your house, or start from scratch what would you do to make it as ASD friendly as possible?
We have a dorma bungalow - Ds (5) has a bedroom downstairs, it's quite a large room and doubles as his playroom. It's "his" space and he loves spending time in there, it's between the kitchen and living room so he's still close by. He has a large walk in toy cupboard that we keep locked, it means we can keep keep the stimulation / toys down in the main room and choose what he has out to play with then we put things away at night or if he needs to calm down.
I have two of them, so our ideal house would cater for both at one.
Two reception rooms with the kitchen in between, so I can watch over both rooms while I cook and the boys can be apart.
Big back garden attached to the house - ours is across the back lane, so they can only play in the yard (which while not much smaller than many gardens on new builds, is still concrete)
A bedroom each. Preferably not next to each other.
For me, I'd like a decent sized kitchen, but that's probably asking too much.
Plenty of lockable storage.
Love the lift and viewing platform idea. Sadly that I think would be beyond the budget. There are however great views from upstairs, over cliffs and sea so the odd oil tanker might be spotted. It's got no north facing windows either! Most are south east.
However, what is nice is we're not completely off the mark so far. We've just got outline planning approval, so on to detailed drawings which is where things like lockable storage, interconnecting doors and such come in.
So far there is a large secure garden with easy access from all downstairs rooms (french windows in all). A family room with raised mid-size kitchen over looking dining / family room. Seperate 'den' or TV room where all screens will be - this leads on to the downstairs bedroom, so when DS is a teenager it'd be possible to have a bed / bath / sitting room to himself if needed. Seperate well secured utility room (hopefully no whurring noise will escape). Hallway leading directly to 'wet / mud room'. Idea is messy boys can run in, get clean, then move on to the rest of the house without making it filthy. Upstairs will have two bedrooms (separated by a tiny landing) and family bathroom. However, this is still fairly flexible. DS1 has some odd visual issues so we know we can't have open tread stairs and will need a very sturdy (probably solid) bannister and handrail.
Is he a bouncer or noisy? Sound-proofing walls against moany neighbours plus reinforcing floors - a bouncy 4 year old is very different from a bouncing 16-stone man! We also have combination locks on front door and food cupboard, bars on his bedroom window and locks on others. If you are near dangers (cliffs, sea) I would get those doors which beep if someone goes outside.
We also needed to reinforce curtain rails, cupboard hinges etc.
But of course you might not need any/all of this if your boy is not like mine.
Thinking ahead, a room for a respite carer or granny looking after kids while you escape, maybe with ensuite to encourage regular babysitting!
Oh and sorry - most important of all; separate sitting room, bedroom and bathroom for you and DH. With locks on, so you can flop onto the sofa without tidying up toys!
Lots of plug points/internet connections for when he's older
He's a bit of a jumper / bouncer and his dad is a 'sturdy' build... The reinforced floors boards might be very wise given what's currently there is flimsy to say the least! If he ends up the same size and his dad and keeps the bouncing up, he'll be falling through the floor.
And, a gate that does a very loud beep. In the garden he'll be safe, but beyond is another matter.
Good point re. sockets too. Must note that the 'den' will need loads, as will his bedroom. Also, our existing curtain poles are already hanging off the walls, so we'll need to think of an very sturdy solution there too.
These are great tips. Please keep them coming!
Think about lighting if you are starting from scratch, what type, where to put it etc
Ds loves his colour changing light.
These are all brilliant tips. Many are going into latest architects brief!
Does he use any indoor swings for therapy; would it be beneficial to have a ceiling suspended linear or rotatory swing for him to use? Your ceilings or beams might need to be reinforced!
a padded room... he likes to climb anad throw himself around. aplayroom for dd to retreat to. lots of lockable storage.
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