Context child home

Much is known about the situation of children on the spectrum who live at home, such as:

  • when autism is usually diagnosed
  • why autism in a family is burdensome for parents and siblings (here)
  • that parents and siblings are often on the spectrum too (also here)
  • the tendency of nearly all children with autism to reside at home (here).

The home residency of the vast majority of autistic children implies that these children cover the entire spectrum, varying from very mild to very serious. This also means their sensory problems range from slight to very serious. Similarly, their ego-functions vary from almost normal to very weak.
(See for a scheme showing the interrelationships between autistic, and sensory characteristics and ego-strength here.)

Measures for children on the spectrum who live at home therefore do by no means fit all.

Below, 78 recommendations are listed of which 14 are exclusive for children at home and 32 apply by and large to all settings. New material is continually added. At the moment 46 recommendations have been worked out, distributed over five chapters and various themes, as listed in the following scheme. They are marked in blue (hyperlinks).
(See here for the organization of all recommendations.)

Recommendations around children living at home  

2 Preferably the needs of the child determine the location of the home
6 Demarcation garden / outside area
7 Entrance at home, flow/security/wardrobe/hallway
Functions garden/outside area
11 Play sets
12 Garden: safety and accessibility
14 Garden or beneficial outside area
Sightlines / spatial design
18 Caring for pets outside
19 Kitchen gardens
20 Self designed outside areas


31 Private rooms/spaces at home
39 No (or limited) exposure in private room
Living rooms
40 Spatial characteristics of living rooms
Bedsitting rooms
44 Private rooms/spaces
45 Distance between several bedrooms
Bathrooms and toilets
46 Private bathroom? When and why.
47 Private bathroom
48  Common bathroom at home
49 Separate bath/shower and toilet in common bathrooms
50 Open-plan or closed kitchens?
Time-out spaces
54 One’s own space at home
55 Withdrawal space in the home
56 Snoozling rooms
Stairs and corridors
61 Generous stairs and corridors
63 Stairs and corridors: orientation
64 Stairs and corridors: finishing touches
69 Contact noise new buildings
70 Contact noise existing buildings
71 Noise from outside
72 Interior noise
73 Stairwell noise
Noise / Acoustics
76 Muted reverberation at home
Light and sight
77 Incoming sunlight (large windows)
79 Day lighting
80 Avoiding daylight avoidance
81 Separate bathroom and toilet
82 Smelly/noxious building materials
84 Cooling of new buildings
85 Cooling of existing buildings
86 Warmth-filtering glass?
90 Anticipation of the “smart home”


Living rooms
92 Stable and clear living rooms
94 Cozy, tidy and quiet living room
97 Cozy bed-sitting room
101 Orientation and order in the kitchen
105 Visualizations at home
Noise / acoustics
107 Acoustics and reverberation at home
108 Sounds of living
Light and sight
111 Dos and don’ts with artificial light at home
113 Blackout for sleeping
116 Color application for the moderately color-sensitive
117 Color application for the strongly color-sensitive
Touch and pain at home
119 Avoiding painful furniture
120 Cotton mostly painless
121 No hanging lamps above dinner table
123 Anti-slip tiles in bath-facilities


Temperature control
126 Natural cross-ventilation
128 Avoiding ‘hotspots’
131 Temperature control in private room
133 Clicking hot water pipes
134 Temperature control in private bathroom
136 Ceramic faucets
138 Noise of kitchen appliances and installations at home
139 Cooking on gas electrical or ceramic?
140 Kitchen counter-top materials
141 Kitchen lighting
142 Co2-concentration and dampness
144 Ventilation bathrooms and toilets
145 Silent ventilation systems
Image and sound
147 Camera etc. around front door
148 Sound- and/or imaging equipment in various withdrawal spaces
149 Withdrawal corner in living room
150 Sounds- and/or image equipment in private room
153 Lighting areas around the home
154 Lighting living rooms
155 Electricity outlets, switches and dimmers
157 Daylight lamps and dimmers
158 Lighting stairwells and corridors