by Saint Louis Closet Co. designer Amy Shea
I am the mom of an amazing little guy who has autism, ASD and am a designer for Saint Louis Closet Co. Being organized is vital in our little home. Routines must be created and followed to a tee. My living room is a theater, calming corner, and a gym complete with trampoline and pod swing. My mudroom is also our “classroom” storage; my dining room is our workspace and art gallery. So, as you can guess, being able to organize all of these elements in a small space can be a challenge. With some thoughtful organization from Saint Louis Closet Co., now everything has a place and a purpose so that our transitions throughout our day run smoothly. Here are a few tips that we have found helpful in our home with our little guy (3yrs old).
- Create a schedule that they can understand and follow. We use pictures to communicate our plan, which is also called a Social Story. So even though my little one is nonverbal, he still knows what to expect next. I just started using this one from Etsy, and he took to it very quickly. Routines are an ASD mama’s best friend.
- Divide up toys and activities into independent play and supervised play. I keep the “messy” toys and toy with intricate parts separate and put away for supervised play and rewards. We also find it helpful to rotate toys in and out of availability, that way they are even more special and interesting when he plays with them again. Baskets and shelving at their level is great to help them with their independence.
- Assign responsibilities and chores. My little guy loves to be a good helper, so we put him to work. After he is “all done” with an activity or toy, then we need to clean up before we transition to what’s next. He also loves to help Mommy clean the house by sweeping, dusting, and cleaning the windows. He is also responsible for putting away his coat, shoes, hat, and backpack when we come home from being out.
- Craft, craft, craft! We use our art and craft supplies to work on our colors, shapes, numbers, letters, and fine motor skills. Then we add our new project to our Art Gallery.
- Make time to get your wiggles out! After a focused activity like crafting, we take time to jump on our trampoline, swing in our pod, or on a nice day we go outside and run and play on our playground.
So, what do all of these tips have in common? Whether you have a special needs kiddo or neurotypical kiddo, an organized home and day makes everything easier. A happy kiddo makes a happy mama.