Parents do everything they can to make life as simple and enjoyable as possible for their children. This involves building nurseries and even play rooms for youngsters who need help finding space to learn and grow. If your child is living with a disability, you may even find that you need to make some more significant changes to your home’s layout. Although adapting a home to suit the needs of a child with a disability can be complicated, there are many simple changes that you can make with very little budget and time to help get you started. Here are a few things you might need to consider.
Make the Necessary Adjustments
If your child uses a walker or a wheelchair, or has issues with developing fine motor skills, then the flooring you choose for your home will be essential. In an ideal world, you should consider installing a home lift in a colour playroom or another crucial part of your home to make transportation between floors as simple as possible. This will be the best way to ensure no unwanted accidents or injuries. However, don’t forget to think about the flooring elsewhere in your property too. Carpeting is great for softening floors, but it might not be the best choice for those who need a firm surface for wheels. Think carefully about what will suit your child best.
Improve the Lighting
Lighting in your home is another essential concept to consider when you’re looking for ways to reduce risk and injury. Your child, along with the rest of the house, need to be able to see exactly where you’re going to reduce the risk of trips and falls, not to mention the added stress. Ensure all stairways, dark closets, corners, and rooms are well lit. Motion-activated lighting and battery-operated touch lights in hallways and closets may be a good idea. If you’re worried about your electricity bill, remember that you can always replace standard bulbs with LEDs and eco-friendly lighting to reduce costs. LED lights that automatically come on when someone enters a room and turn off when no motion is detected can save you cash in the long-term, as you don’t have to remember to turn them off.
Consider the Doors
Finally, think about the doors on the rooms around your home. How easy are they going to be for your child to open? Will you be able to open them when you’re also handling a wheelchair, or helping a weak youngster who needs extra support? Doorknobs can be very difficult for children with special needs to grip properly. Lever handles may be a better choice, as they don’t require as much fine motor skill. You can even think about removing doors entirely if you think that they might be an issue for your child. Open doorways without doors will reduce the risks of wheelchairs and walking accessories knocking into frames and getting caught between rooms. You can always think about widening the doorways too if you’re concerned that your current ones might be too small for your child’s equipment.
Further reading and more helpful info:
- Visit Cerebral Palsy Family Network for more tips
- 6 ways parents can help children with behavioral issues
- The larger impact of small acts of kindness