The Ideal Home for the Autistic Child: Physiological Rationale for Design Strategies

By Catherine Purple Cherry, AIA, LEED AP, and Lauren Underwood, PhD

Along with behavioral and educational strategies used to teach and assist children with autism, there are ways to influence their success through alteration and treatment of their physical environments. It is important to create a home environment that accommodates the different needs of the autistic child and takes into account the rest of the family’s needs in relationship to that child.

Part 1: Sensory Response Functions

To begin to understand what areas of the home environment can change to support children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), it is helpful to first understand some of the physiological issues that can necessitate attention to structural and design features of the child’s home and other environments. Primary among these are ASD children’s sensory response ….

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Home, Safe Home

As parents, we all desire both a healthy and safe environment for our children, regardless of their ages. As research has continued to explore the causes of autism, what seems to be a common thread is that increased toxicity in our environment is a core component necessary for the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The full article is available on Autism File.

Home Sweet Homeschool

If you’ve made the decision to homeschool your child, it’s likely that you’ll be giving a lot of thought to the right curriculum and activities. There’s no doubt these are crucial, but so is creating an environment that’s geared for education—and this is especially important if your child has autism. Think of your homeschool as a center of learning, the place where you’ll nurture your child’s desire to find out more—and give it careful planning and attention. The full article is available on Autism File.

One Parent’s Way of Avoiding Crises at Thanksgiving and Christmas

Holidays are stressful for everyone regardless of how much joy they bring. The challenges that come with raising a child on the autism spectrum −especially with other siblings − only compound this stress. As an experienced mother of an adult with autism and two other typically-developing children, I have learned many strategies through trial and error, how to avoid crises, and offer these tips to other parents of ASD children in hopes of lessening the stress of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The full article is available on Autism File.

Kindergarten Classrooms

The welcoming classroom — what is it, and why is it so important for our kindergarten children?

A welcoming classroom is intended to create a sense of politeness and approachability for a young child, to make the child feel internally warm and safe, comfortable and happy. Doesn’t each of us want this for our own children? There is a trend of moving away from the institutional settings that older classrooms present and towards the desire to provide a nurturing environment for our younger children to learn. This is most especially important for our kindergarten-aged children during their first year of school.

For kindergarten teachers to create a welcoming atmosphere for their students, they would provide individual spaces within the classroom for various intimate activities that would allow the children to interact ….

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