Fine-Tuning Feng Shui for Autistic Children
With the constantly increasing amount of children being diagnosed with autism it appears this disorder is reaching almost epic proportions worldwide.
While there are many theories as to its origins there has not been a culprit found for its cause. Also what works for one child’s development may have little or no effect on another’s progress. This is largely due to the fact that autism covers such a wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment.
The symbol used frequently in connection with autism awareness is a puzzle piece. Whereas Feng Shui may not have all the pieces to the puzzle, it can offer hope in adjusting quite a few aspects in autistic children’s lives.
Feng Shui, when successfully implemented, has been proven to reduce anxiety in the environment. The ancient Chinese saw chi as the cosmic breath of life. When it flows correctly, blessings and good health are bestowed. When there are obstructions to its flow, dis-ease and stress ensue.
Study after study on autism has found that the majority of these children display extraordinary sensitivities to their surroundings. What most people would not react to, maybe the gentle “hum” of the fridge, can send some into a tailspin.
Some Feng Shui guidelines can be followed and prove to be a valuable aide. However each child’s unique condition must be kept in mind, especially with the arrangement of their bedrooms. Since each child’s needs are different, a cookie-cutter approach cannot be used. There are no fast cures to be had. However if you are willing to approach the project with tremendous patience then you may be rewarded with some turning points towards success.
One of the main problems with autism is over-stimulation. Therefore you have to render the bedroom as peaceful as possible. Nothing should pose a threat by stimulating their nervous system.
There have been volumes written the past couple of decades about “sick building syndrome”. Many illnesses and mental disorders have been attributed to the pollution from electricity alone in buildings and homes. So due to their increased sensitivity you should eliminate all electrically run lamps, gadgets, etc. in the bedroom as much as possible. They can be replaced by battery operated alarm clocks and lamps. If there is an electric outlet behind the bed have an electrician remove it.
All lights should be low wattage. Incandescent are best. Fluorescent bulbs actually send out a noise. You may not hear it. Your child may and it could resonate like nails on the blackboard to their ears.
Toxic gases can be emitted into the air from synthetic materials present. Rugs and the adhesive in carpets are big offenders. They are also the breeding ground for dust mites and mold. Wallpaper and even innocent looking plastic objects in the room all release noxious gases which can be absorbed into the nervous system. This goes for synthetic bed linens too. Best to stick with all natural fibers.
When cleaning the room, only use natural or “green” products. This goes for linens too. You may love the fresh scent of the washing detergent’s perfume in the sheets; it could prove to be overwhelming for your child.
The bed should have a sturdy solid headboard. Many autistic children derive a sense of security from padded surfaces. You might want to see if they respond favorably to the idea of a padded headboard.
Nothing should be placed under the bed. You want the chi to be able to circulate freely around them when sleeping. Beds made of solid untreated wood are best. Treated wood releases fumes. The least amount of metal near or on the bed is recommended.
Sharp points from ends of furniture act as “secret arrows” in feng shui. If they point at a person in a room, they cut into their energy field. Imagine the harm if they point at someone all night while they are sleeping! To remedy this, you can try to reposition the furniture. If that doesn’t help, or it’s impossible to do, place soft rounded cloth padding on the ends. Great suggestion for nightstands are padded cubes. You can even store things inside them. This goes for jutting out wall corners too. Either cover them up to the ceiling with rounded padding, which matches the color of the walls, from the floor to the ceiling or use rounded molding.
All paint used in the bedroom should be VOC and flat. Shinny surfaces will bounce the energy around the room, not too conducive for a good night’s sleep.
They do best with a monochromatic color scheme in the bedroom. Too many colors equals too much stimulation. Avoid all red in the room. It is the most yang and action oriented color. Bright primary colors can be too upsetting for their nervous systems too. Almost bland muted pastels work best.
We are seeking to create a space as void of stimulation as possible. As for the perfect color to use, many experts disagree. Since each child has different needs to be met, I strongly suggest you play detective in picking the right one. This will involve you taking note on how your child behaves and what moods they display wearing different colors. So as not to break the bank, purchase some cheap T-shirts in different colors for them to wear. Also, what reaction do they have in different colored rooms? Yes it will take time, but the results can be astounding.
Paint all closet doors the same color as the walls. This way you are keeping them from standing out. Same with any molding around the windows. Bland is best.
Mirrors are a traditional no-no for all bedrooms, especially your child’s. Remove bright prints and all posters from the walls. As for the hallway leading to the bedroom, you can have prints. However get ones with muted tones and soft uncomplicated images.
Autistic children seem to navigate thru life in a manner which is different. They may be picking up sensory data which we incapable of, and in the process being on constant “overload”. Hopefully by making some feng shui adjustments to their bedrooms they will have some peace to recharge and flourish.