Everyone’s mood and ability to concentrate is affected by our environment. This is also true for children with autism, but their condition causes them to react to things around them in different ways.

For many young people living with autism, bright colors, loud noises and other things that other children find stimulating can be confusing and upsetting. Living or going to school can hinder their education and development, if they are frequently in rooms that do not allow them to relax and concentrate.

Unfortunately, autism often causes delays in speaking, so children with autism may not be able to communicate how the paint on the walls or a nearby group of noisy children is affecting them. For one interior designer, who is also the mother of an autistic teenager, it took years of trial and error to learn what sort of indoor environments kept her son happy and ready to learn. Disability Scoop recently shared her story.

She read studies on autism, and observed her son’s reactions in supposedly kid-friendly places that were full of bright colors and activity. She found that quiet and neutral environments, with brighter colors as markers to help children find their way around, are ideal ways to decorate facilities where children with autism go for speech and occupational therapy. Meanwhile, the reception area can be decorated more vibrantly, so that parents do not feel they are dropping their kids off at a grim, old-fashioned “institution.”

Raising a child with autism can be challenging, especially if affording necessary therapy and medical care is a challenge. Many Missouri families can qualify for Supplemental Security Income to help them care for their disabled son or daughter.