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The Best Room Colors for Children With Autism

by Kristine Tucker

Children with autism thrive in a calm and relaxing setting that discourages high-stress activity. When you decorate your child's bedroom or paint other rooms in your house to accommodate autism-related needs, opt for colors that are muted and soothing. A serene room design will help your child relax after a busy day away from home. Brightly colored rooms are cute, but soft hues are best-suited to the needs of your child.

Tranquil Blue, Green, or Purple

Interior designer Carolyn Feder encourages parents to paint their autistic child's room in a tranquil hue, such as pale blue, soft green or muted purple, according to the New York Metro Parents website. The softer shades, rather than bright primary colors, help create a peaceful environment that's comforting. Feder says that the brain automatically responds to softer colors on a subconscious level. As a result, the relaxing colors help encourage calm emotional responses and appropriate behavior.

Pale Pink

Pale pink might seem like a color for girls only, but both genders respond well to a room that's painted in a soft, muted, shade of pink. Studies show that pink is a good room color for children with learning disabilities, including those with autism, according to the University of Minnesota newsletter, "Implications." Soft shades of pink have neutral undertones that are subdued and nondistracting. By painting a room one uniform shade of pink -- no borders, stripes, patterns or prints -- your child won't be overly stimulated by color variations or busy designs.

Light Colors

Your child might have a favorite color that he wants to incorporate into his bedroom design. Opt for a lighter version of his favorite color, rather than a bright or vivid hue, to avoid overstimulation, according to AutismUnited.org. For example, if your child's favorite color is orange, choose a pale, muted, peachy paint color. Or, if your child's favorite color is green, select a pale aqua, light sage or mint green paint color. Light colors are relatively neutral and tend to fade into the background, making it easier for autistic children to focus on the task at hand and relax when it's time to rest or sleep.

Neutrals

When selecting a color that can be used throughout your entire home to accommodate your autistic child, soft neutrals are a good option. Ivory, beige, light mocha, muted teal and soft gray are muted colors that work well in various interior designs, while reducing the amount of visual stimulation. Even though white is a neutral color, avoid stark white paint colors because they aren't soothing and might remind your child of unpleasant doctor's visits. Stay away from busy curtain patterns, colorful wall decorations, and complex furniture designs -- simple is best.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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