Managing overwhelm by creating a sensory-friendly space in your home
If you’ve visited the Neurodiverging blog before, you may have seen this article on autism and fatigue. One of the ways that neurodivergent people can manage our energy levels is by ensuring that our home is sensory-friendly and matches our needs.
For people with autism, it is essential that feelings of overwhelm and overload are managed. This can be really tricky in the beginning. But with some self-reflection and practice (and sometimes trial and error) it is possible to create a space that works for you.
In this post we’ll look at some key ideas you can consider when creating a sensory-friendly space, room, or home.
Identify Your Forks and Triggers
If you haven’t heard about Fork Theory, it’s worthwhile visiting the article mentioned above. But for the purpose of this exercise, all you need to know is that there are aspects of your life that you can have some control over.
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by particular sounds or light. Maybe for you it’s certain smells or scents that are too much for you. Identifying what is triggering to you is the most important step.
The next step is taking action to help create an environment that works for you. We’ll break these down into various aspects of your home that you could adapt for your needs.
Sound and noise
If auditory stimuli is problematic for you, there are many ways you can dampen noise in your home. Having carpeted floors may create a better acoustic environment for you. If your flooring consists of hard surfaces that you can’t change, area rugs can be used to absorb noise.
Just like with flooring, there are additional aspects of the construction of the home that could help reduce noise pollution from outside. Using insulated windows and additional insulation in walls are great ideas. However, if these considerations are beyond your immediate control, adding soft furnishings inside your home can reduce noise and echoes. For you, investing in some high quality noise cancelling headphones may be what you need to manage your sensitivity to sound. (I have a list of my favorite My…