Organize your playroom specifically for your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”). Great tips and tricks to organize toys for your child with autism.
It’s rare that my phone rings. Normally when friends need me, they text or send an email. When the phone is used for its intended purpose, I know that something “big” demands my attention. I hear her sobs before I have a chance to say anything. My friend called, frantic, tired, exhausted and defeated. The past couple of months have been a rollercoaster of emotions and at this point she feel like she has run out of options.
Her son, the sweet, shy and quiet blue-eyed boy had some rough toddler years. He was behind on all his milestones and she fought hard to get someone, just anyone to listen to her. Finally, before she cracked, the new doctor in town heard her pleas for attention and he had her son tested. The results were bitter-sweet, as medical results tend to be when you suspect something but hope your intuition is wrong.
Her son is on the Autism Spectrum. This confirmed diagnosis sent her in a tailspin to make his home environment a sanctuary, a place where he feels safe, can thrive and have the structure he needs. I promise to reach out to my good friend, a professional organizer, to get the tips and tricks she needs to organize her son’s playroom and toys in the most “Autism-friendly” way.
Creating an organized structure is important for all children. They thrive on the predictability that routines bring. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) can especially benefit from living in a well-arranged home. Knowing what to expect in an unpredictable world can bring life-changing comfort and calm to children with ASD.
I am thrilled to share this space today with Sidney Young from Need Organizing? Last time she was here she talked about reducing clutter once and for all, and she also gave us awesome kitchen organization tips. Today she is sharing her experience from setting up a playroom for a child with ASD. As usual, her ideas are easy to implement and straight forward – and the sense of organization she brings is a game-changer for all the local moms who have worked with her.
Putting a predictable system in place at home can truly help promote focus and concentration for children with ASD. Playrooms, teaching areas and general living spaces should be organized to help alleviate stress and anxiety. These tips will help establish a starting point for creating a more organized atmosphere.
- Put a system in place for school work, toys, crafts and books. This is the most important step in the process.
- Systems allow you to have set locations for your everyday items, and for easy access. Your child will find great comfort in knowing where everything belongs, and where he can expect to find them next time he wants to play with them.
- Use clear plastic storage bins or fabric baskets with windows. The object is for your child to be able to see what is inside, and for easy labeling.
- Separate items into groups or categories (for instance, board games. learning tools, books etc.)
- Label corresponding containers with a written label as well as a photograph of the content.
- Color coding bins can also give helpful reminders of where things go. Remember that clear visibility is important.
Clean up requires more predictability and routine to ensure success and cooperation:
- A great way is to play a 10-minute clean up game.
- Set a timer to help motivate and get your child involved in the process of putting things back in their designated areas.
- This will help him learn where the toys belong, and he will practice accomplishing tasks with follow-through, as you execute the newly established routine.
Here are some of our favorite MUST HAVE items:
- Totally awesome label maker. This machine will change the way you organize things! Consider yourself warned.
- Game changing laminator! There are a million uses for this laminator and the fun is never-ending!
- 100 pack laminating pouches. You will WANT to stock up on these supplies. Trust me!
- Large Flip Top Storage Box, Set of 6
- Storage System 12 Pack Clear Stackable Bins
- Fabric Bin with Window
Creating structure can be daunting in the beginning. But remember, these are goals you can achieve step-by-step. A little organization goes a long way and all it takes is a commitment to create a system that works for your family. Ask for help from friends and relatives. It truly takes a village – especially to organize a child’s room!
These tips are just to get you started! Modify and adjust based on your child’s needs, age and ability – and enjoy the organization!
How do you have your child’s toys organized right now?
For questions or hands-on assistance from Sidney, please contact her. She is excited to help other families win the war on clutter!
Contact information for Sidney Young, Owner and Professional Organizer
Need Organizing? Professional Organizing in Palm Beach, Florida