From the research, it is found that more than 80% autistic children have sleeping difficulties. For the children with special needs, a bed which can accommodate several needs can help them sleep better. The bed needs to offer proper functions, cover the sensory aspect, give security encouragement, and provide the independency.
When there are a lot of things to consider, it does not mean that you cannot meet all of them it also does not mean that beds for children with special needs have to be boring and awkward. From the amazing ideas on bed designs for children with autism, you will see that their bed can also be fun and cool. Choose one of them to be put inside your child’s bedroom!
What is autism?
Autism is considered as a complicated neurobehavioral issue which comprises the impairments on communication ability, language improvement, and social contact along with stiff, recurring behaviors. Due to the influences of various symptoms, autism is also named as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This ASD is shown to be affected by large numbers of symptoms, impairment level and abilities. The degree of autism may range from mild autism to severe autism which has to be accompanied by certain institutional treatment.
It is true that children who suffer autism have trouble in their communication skills. They often have problems to recognize what people feel and think. Due to their failure to understand others, they have suffered difficulties on how to communicate themselves whether through gestures, words, touch or face expressions. Sometimes, children with special needs are also very sensitive. They can be bothered or hurt by touches, sights, sounds or smells which are usually normal for other people.
Children with ASD may also suffer stereotyped or repetitive movements of their body, like pacing, hand flapping, or rocking. There is a moment when they are very responsive to people and objects, resistant to change their daily activities, or they may also become aggressive and tend to do things which danger themselves and other people around them. There is also a moment when the children with autism seem to ignore other people, the activities around them and also the surrounding objects. Some autistic children may also suffer seizures. The symptoms of seizures remain unnoticed until they reach adolescence period.
There are also other symptoms suffered by the autistic children. Some of them show impairments on their cognitive development. They may show relative delays on all developmental areas and some of them show uneven developmental abilities. They suffer issues on communication skills and how to share to other people. But, some children with autism can perform such incredible skills on music, drawing, math solving problems, and also facts memorizations. For children with this kind of skills, they may have average range or above-average range in their intelligence compared to children with no autism.
What are the Autism Symptoms?
Children show symptoms of autism during the earliest three years of their life. Some children may demonstrate the autism symptoms since birth. Other children may show normal behaviors at first but they start to show the autism symptoms during their 18 up to 36 months old. There are also cases where children do not show any symptoms of autism until they have to start communicating with other people. During the communication phase, the children with autism show communication disorders.
Boys are four time more prone to autism than girls. The autism can happen to everybody. It does not have to deal with certain race, social or ethnics. This disorder can happen to anybody regardless their family’s educational background, their lifestyle or their income.
What are the Autism Causes?
It is said that autism may be inherited from the family. It can be from certain genes combinations which can make a child suffers autism. However, the risk aspects to increase the children having autism also need to consider.
- The advanced age of a father or a mother can increase the probability of having autistic child
- If the pregnant women are exposed to certain chemicals or drugs, they can deliver the children with autism gene. The chemicals and the drugs may due to alcohol consumptions or antiseizure drugs consumptions through the pregnancy period. The motherly metabolic situation, like obesity or diabetes may also increase the chance of having autistic children.
- An innate metabolic issue which is caused by an enzyme deficiency
The appearance of autism is somehow still not clear. One research shows that this disorder is merely caused by the irregularities of the brain parts which infer the sensory input and produce the language. It has not been proven yet that the physiological environment of where the children grow can cause autism.
What Bed is Suitable for Children with Autism?
The quality sleep is very crucial for adults and also for children. For children, the quality sleep is very helpful for their body’s development and growth. During the sleep, the brain is working to check what activities being conducted today and how the children feel when doing certain activities.
Children with autism disorder suffer the sleep issues. The sleeping patterns may create an impact on children’s life such as their health, their mood, and also their ability to grow and learn. When your children have enough nighttime sleep, they can learn anything quicker and they tend to be very cooperative.
It is true that to put the children into their bedtime routinely every night is really difficult. It is not possible that when they are still babies, they are easily to be put in bed. But as they grow older, they are hard enough to be put in bed willingly. Sometimes they will just make any excuses which release them from sleeping or probably they will act up. However, children suffering autism can react much more intensive than the normal children.
Parents who have children with autism have to consider lots of things when they want to put their children to bedtime every day. One important consideration is that the parents have to make sure that the room and the bed are safe for their children to sleep overnight.
Children Bed’s Types
Children with autism are usually hard to be sleeping at night. To attract their interest to sleep, parents can choose certain beds for them. The bed types are ranging from cabin beds, bunk beds to ground-level beds. The designs are varied and some of the beds can be custom made to fulfill some sleeping requirements. You have to make sure that the bed for your children sleeping is really helpful for them to get proper sleep.
One bed can be better from other beds. This mainly depends on your children needs. As parents, you have to make into consideration on how your children sleeping behavior is before choosing the right bed for them. You may choose the ground-level beds for your children as this type of beds can guard your children when they fall from the bed.
Other reason is sometimes children with autism do not want to go to bed and like to hide into their comfort world. When your children act this way, you can choose the cabin bed type. This bed is able to offer the covert disguise below the bed.
For special children who have height sensory desires, parents can choose the bunk bed. Parents can design the bunk bed with the slide to replace the ladder. When you choose the bed which is not ground-level bed, you have to make sure that you minimize the risks which may occur during the overnight when you leave your children alone in their bed.
When choosing the mattress for the bed, you have to ensure that the mattress is durable and comfortable. Children with autism have tendency to be more active with their bed, like jumping up and jumping down the mattress. So, you have to choose mattress which is able to sustain your children’s body weight.
Children with autism may also suffer from bed-wetting during sleeping. To minimize the effects, you can choose suitable bedding cover for the mattress. You can always choose a waterproof cover for the mattress. You can also get the anti-allergy mattress cover for your children.
For some children, parents usually choose the interiors which are lightweight to be placed inside their children’s rooms especially a lightweight bed frame. When dealing with children with special needs, you have to make sure that furniture you put inside your children’s room are not movable. It can be really dangerous and risky for them if they can move it around.
You have to make sure that the bed frame is heavy and solid enough so that they cannot move them from its place. It is to protect your children from being trapped under the bed or pulling themselves under the bed. The choice of the bed weight may also reduce the possibility of any unexpected breakages.
After choosing the bed suitable for your children, the next step is to choose where to put the bed. to minimize any unnecessary accidents, it is suggested that you place the bed near the wall. You can even add some brackets to attach it firmly near the bed for additional protection.
If your children move a lot during sleeping, you can always change the bedroom wall into some kind of soft sensory feature to make sure that your children will not endanger themselves during sleeping period.
Parents usually love to decorate their children’s bedroom with some bright colors. But, some bright colors may fail to create comfortable and calming sleeping atmosphere. There are some considerations when choosing colors for your children bedroom. Some children with autism find that bright and light colors irritate them. If it happens, you can choose darker colors such as navy, gray, violet or soft blue as these colors are able to soak up more brightness than reflect it.
Children are very interested in colors. But, for choosing the bed, you can always choose any colors beside your children’s favorite colors. To be safe, you can always choose bed frame with natural color. When preparing the bed, you can choose their favorite colors for the beddings. What needs to remember for the parents, don’t choose color which are hated by your children. If you choose the color that they hate to decorate the bed, your children may not be able to sleep tight at night.
For some children with autism, lighting is very influential for their sensory structure. Therefore, you need to carefully consider several factors which can obstruct their sensory aspect when decorating their bedroom. The things that need to consider are:
- Choose blackout curtains or shades
- Use red-hued lights for night time
- Put some rugs or carpeting to minimize the uncomfortable glare
- Put the floor lamps or desk next to the working activity area
Sensory Deficiency Spot
Provide some sensory deficiency spot within your children bedroom. You can place some bed tents, squashy pillows, weighted lap padding, stim toys, sound cancelling earphones, fiddle tools. The sensory deficiency spot is really suitable for the children with special needs as it may promote redeployment and self-directive.
The noises which are from the neighborhoods can be really irritating. When your children bedroom happens to be located near a hectic street, busy hallway inside your house, or neighbor’s dog barking, you need to put these kinds of situations into consideration. You can use slow-playing melody or fair sound machine to reduce the neighboring sounds.
When your children are already adjusted to the sleeping habits after you design bedroom with their special needs consideration, the problem is now on how to wake them up. When their sleeping routines have been in fixed pattern, you can put the alarm to wake them up. If your children need to wake up with certain lights, you can place the alarm with light sensor. The light will gradually be brighter as the morning comes.
When you are about to design your children bedroom, you have to consider lots of things and plan certain details to provide a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Although you have many things to consider, the main task is always on the bed. Be wise to choose which suitable bed for your children. Don’t be hasty!