For children with disabilities, it can be challenging to teach them the skill sets they will need to succeed in learning environments and to manage their emotions. In order for children to develop socially, it is crucial for parents to lead by example and pave the way for healthy behaviours to take root. Part of the way that parents can help children focus on their development is to give them the proper space to do so.
Having a space that is comforting, safe, and free from distractions is critical to a child’s development, especially for children with a condition like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to mental health research, an estimated 11.2% of children and adolescents in Australia have ADHD, which accounts for nearly 355,600 total people. This is a huge number, meaning that it is always more important for children with ADHD to have calming spaces where they can retreat to both in school and at home to regroup during the day.
What Should the Space Look Like?
When creating a space for children with ADHD, it is essential that the setting is well organized, structured, and promotes a sense of calm. Firstly, the space should reflect soothing colours, like warm earthy tones (light browns or greens) or a serene blue. If you are designing a small cubby or nook, be sure that all of the materials that you use correspond to each other and do not have overly busy patterns.
The space should also be free of clutter. Avoid bringing electronic devices, including tablets, mobile phones, or video games, into the space. Electronics can lead to disruptive behaviour, so it is crucial to eliminate these distractions when creating a calm environment. Hopefully, the space will inspire children to spend time regrouping without any other interruptions, which can aid their emotional and social development.
The Importance of Quiet Time
By making a space for children with ADHD that encourages reflection and silence, children can learn to appreciate the benefits of quiet time. Most of the time, children will not want to have quiet time, which they often see as the antithesis to play time. But it is extremely important for a child’s well-being to relax and decompress during a busy day.
The reality is, children with ADHD get stressed out, just like their parents. In order to be free from anxieties and to properly concentrate, children with ADHD need a space that is quiet and uncluttered where they can focus on their emotions and their tasks. Engaging in quiet time also gives children with ADHD the chance to explore their individual interests, leading to furthered self-reliance.
When designing a space for children with ADHD, it is important to use soothing colours, to eliminate any extra distractions, and to promote the benefits of quiet time.
Blog written by Jane Sandalwood, Freelance Writer
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