I think every month should be Autism Awareness month How can we not be aware of this huge and growing segment of our society?- We are all touched in some way. Either as family members, caregivers, loved ones and members of the spectrum itself. Even as spectators, watching people we know trying to figure out how to give care and ease anxiety and live with joy in a world that has been turned completely upside down with the diagnosis of Autism.
Not every case is cookie cutter similar, not every kid responds to the same methods of treatment- but through research, we find that design can help. Setting up your home to have special learning areas, decompressing areas, and safe zones. Using color, pattern and lighting to soothe and enhance transition and learning. Having mirrors in learning areas to help with mimicking and recognizing appropriate facial expressions. Seating placement and scale are important. Layers of lighting as well. Photographs- not line drawings, are useful learning tools. Hopefully, by starting early, an autistic person can learn ways to have a fulfilling and meaningful life. Design can help caregivers to stay organized and ease some of the anxiety and stress. It’s a reality and it’s not going anywhere- anytime soon- we all have to figure out ways to help one another with compassion and caring.