Stable and clear living rooms
Make sure that living rooms convey an atmosphere of ‘clarity’, are uncluttered and that the furniture has fixed places.
Interior design (living room)
In order to
optimize the clarity and predictability of the home environment.
Visual clarity of the living room is important both from the perspective of the parent and the child. (For the former we reserved the concept of ‘sightlines’.)
Predictability and clarity are fundamental needs of most people on the spectrum. Both are at issue here.
The concrete advice is to assign fixed places to chairs, tables, cupboards and other living room furniture and to strictly maintain these. If changes are necessary the advice is to involve the children in such a decision.
The importance of such fixed places is well illustrated with the anecdote about Boris recounted in the theme sightlines where an object in an unexpected place potentially posed a great danger. Boris bumped into a pallet in a corridor and injured himself which could have been the beginning of a chain of events ending in a meltdown of Boris. Because sufficient sightlines were utilized with great alertness by his caregivers adverse consequences were mitigated though the risk would have been avoided altogether if this object had been where it should have been.
This incident involved a long-stay patient with great autistic disabilities (and considerable talents too). For people in a milder range of the spectrum, this recommendation can be applied in a more lenient fashion.