My son Henry has autism, and I am constantly looking for a comfortable space for kids with special needs. Autism is a complex disorder that like many others whose symptoms are as unique as the individual who houses them. These kids are constantly bombarded by things in their surroundings that you or I would not even notice. Every sound, texture, color, taste and shape is amplified and they make these kids very uncomfortable in their environment. With this coupled with their inability to articulate what they are feeling, they get very frustrated and may act out with aggressive behavior. In order to make a place where these kids can be at their very best, adjustments need to be taken to do so. Here are some great ideas for creating such a space. Remember, this space will be great for kids with sensory issues as well as kids who just need a quiet place to hang out after a busy day.
Creating A Comfortable Space
- Walls: Stand in each room and do a 360. What colors are the walls? What is hanging on the walls? Is there wallpaper and if so, what is the design? These questions matter very much to a child with sensory issues. If you have a brightly colored floral wall paper in the kitchen and you think back and realize your child acting out when in that space, it may be the overwhelming pattern on the walls. Do you have difficulty with your child eating their meals? If the dining room walls are that awesome red you had always wanted, may be too distracting for your child to eat.
- Sight and Sounds: Keeping in mind that sounds to us are amplified 100 times over for kids with sensory issues. We had a small grocery store we would shop at 2-3 times a week and each time we went, Henry would get agitated the moment we walked in the door until the moment we left. We began going shopping solo while the other stayed home with Henry. Come to find out he was overwhelmed with the electric bug zapper that was outside the back door. Take your child with you and ask them if there are any noises or lights that are bothering them. We found the new energy efficient bulbs everyone is using are much better for Henry’s needs.
- Furniture: We have learned over the years to get Henry’s input when we buy things for the house. If we were looking for a new kitchen table and chairs, we would get Henry to sit in the chairs and let us know how they felt. When we were shopping for new beds for the kids we drove this poor salesman crazy because Henry quite literally tried out every stinking bed in the store! Believe it or not, one of the pieces of furniture we have in our house is our bean bag from Sumo Lounge. Sumo Lounge is one of the premiere companies in the industry and when you own one of their products, you will know immediately why that is.
Bean Bag Chairs For Kids With Autism
Until I owned one, I would never have thought bean bag chairs for kids with autism would be such a benefit. When Andrew from Sumo Lounge asked if I would be interested in trying out one of their grandest bean bags; The Sumo Sultan with the Ultimate Fur cover ($399.00). We already have the awesome Omni from Sumo Lounge and it was such a big hit with Henry. Due to its large size, Henry nicknamed it “The Girth”. When the package with the Sultan arrived the kids could not wait to open it. It was a bit like a magic trick because as soon as you open the plastic covering, the Sultan plumps up to about 3 times its size! As soon as we got the luxurious fur covering on it the kids both jumped on it together and they were in heaven. The Sultan boasts a size that measures 54” x 54” x 42”, has a removable cover, which depending on the choice between micro suede, corduroy or the fur, you can choose from several great colors. To put the size of the Sultan in perspective for you, Henry’s bedroom is 8×10 and the Sultan takes up half of his room!! All the bean bags from Sumo Lounge are made right here in the USA, are made from 100% polyester fiber and will never go flat on you like the competition.
What I was not prepared for was the effect the Sultan had on my sweet Henry. We put the Sultan, which is now called the “Gigantic Furry Chicken Nugget” (don’t ask!!) in the playroom, where we have the Xbox. I walked in and Henry was in the middle of the Nugget and he had the most serene look on his face I had ever seen. With kids who have sensory needs, they love to be enveloped in things to make them feel safe and grounded. This is why Henry will make a huge pile of pillows and blankets and then jump in the middle. He loves knowing he is surrounded by softness and safety. When I asked him why he liked the Nugget so much, he turned to me with those beautiful and innocent brown eyes and said “Because when I lay in the Nugget, I get a hug full of furry love”. I love working with the folks over at Sumo Lounge because they are so professional and yet so caring. Each time I have worked with Andrew, he makes me feel as if I am the only customer in the world! He is very in tune with what would be a good fit for your family and there are so many choices that you are sure to find the perfect bean bag for your family. You can also find ottomans, additional covers, a 100% guarantee and free shipping on every order. Whether it be for your family or for a gift for that special person on your list, you can rest easy knowing the staff over at Sumo Lounge have you covered…and with the huge Nugget we have…they really do have you covered…in fur!!
One reader will win one Sumo Lounge Sultan in their choice of covering