Children with special needs like autism or ADHD need outdoor time as much as any other child. But their individual challenges often necessitate some changes to your typical backyard. These ideas can help you create a fun and safe outdoor environment for your child, while accounting for their unique needs.
Build a fence. For many families with a neurodivergent child, a secure fence is an absolute imperative. Many people (both children and adults) with autism, ADHD, and some other conditions tend to elope unpredictably. A privacy fence can be the best way to keep your child safe from traffic and other dangers when playing outside. Plus, for the sensory sensitive, a fence also provides some cushion against outside noise.
Provide soundproofing. For many individuals with special needs, overwhelming sensory input can prevent them from fully enjoying new experiences. If you live in an area with a high or even moderate amount of noise pollution, soundproofing can provide a more calm environment for the whole family. Plant a row of hedges along the fence, build a living wall, or install a water fountain for white noise.
Create sensory experiences. Even with their sensitivities, many children with special needs really enjoy certain types of sensory experiences. The backyard is the perfect place for enriching fun, so consider items like a sandbox, baby pool, trampoline, or swing. Just remember to empty children’s pools every day so that they don’t pose a drowning danger or attract mosquitoes to your yard.
Consider a hiding spot. Your child might need a quiet place to retreat from time to time. A small playhouse, tent, or creative landscaping can provide the perfect “hidey hole” to help them feel secure.
The above ideas are just the tip of the iceberg, because children with special needs are individuals. Your project should be based on your child’s unique requirements and preferences. Give us a call as you plan your backyard makeover, and we’ll help you customize a plan to perfectly suit your family.