If you’re fitting out your home to provide a safe and loving space for a young person with special needs, there are features you can easily add to the space to make life easier and more pleasant for all involved.
Rather than a house-key, provide the young person with a simple swiping card or even a fingerprint reader for house access. If they are capable of being out on their own, it’s critical that they can easily get back into the house without facing barriers.
Reduce Decision Load
For some young people with special needs, too many decisions becomes overwhelming and their life becomes confusing and stressful. To limit this stress, simple features like a Clearlight Designs bathroom mirror that includes a light inside the mirror can help a great deal. If this light is voice activated, it will take only one command to successfully light the space.
Every space within the home where the young adult can be safely alone should be easily accessible. This includes patio spaces, kitchens and family rooms. Of course, if the young adult can’t be safe in certain spaces, such as when a pool is in use, then the addition of another digital key system is a good idea.
Personal Auditory Options
Having personal audio options is actually a great idea no matter the capacities of the people who live there. Not everyone enjoys the same music, radio or television. Rather than forcing all participants to participate in one program or style of music, consider asking everyone to use a personal audio device. Earbuds and headsets can save a lot of conflict and fuss.
Plenty of Space
It’s crucial that any young adult with special needs in your home will need plenty of personal space, such as a bedroom and bath, but they’ll also need plenty of space in common rooms. If the young person is unable to physically access some portions of the house, make sure they have access to the same amenities within the spaces they can get to. For example, if the TV room is in the basement but the young person can’t get down there, make sure you make time and space for television viewing and community in the rooms they can access.
Access to all the spaces in your home may not be possible or safe. However, every home should have a gathering space, an area for entertainment, a place to sleep, access to food and a way to keep clean. No matter how big your home is in, be sure to build in a space for shared experiences and entertainment.