FROM KATRINA: Hello, Hello, Hello all of you amazing people. Here is my third installment of tips for a distraction free playroom. Please use what you want, read the Son-Rise program Start Up manual for more information and my previous blogs for other tips.
Sound – In some playrooms I have been in, sounds echoed off the walls, particularly if there were hard wood or linoleum floors, less furniture (which I do recommend, see my first blog), or high ceilings. At first this doesn’t present much of a problem, but if you are the sound sensitive child who is spending many many hours in an echo cavern you might have a different perspective. (Sometimes you might be used to the echo, so ask a trusted friend to come in,sing loudly and give their opinion of the echo) In our playroom’s at the Autism Treatment Center of America we have some sort of carpet on the ceiling which helps sound proof the room and dulls the sound. The internet has many great ideas on cheap sound proofing, here are some of them (egg crate foam mattress covers – find at thrift store, acoustic foam, carpeting, or carpet pads, tapestries) You can either staple these to the ceiling or hang them on your walls (just make sure they are one solid color if they are on the walls)
Floors – ooh there are so many possibilities of floors. We recommend having an easy to clean floor. At our intensive we have linoleum flooring over special padding (see your Start Up Manual for more information). This makes it easy to give control, as you don’t need to worry about your child spilling, peeing, ripping up anything. It’s only a matter of wiping it up with a towel or sweeping up with a hand held broom. However, if you have hard flooring without padding, I would encourage you to have something in your playroom to use occasionally for floor games (e.g. crash mat or rug) this is simply for you, to protect your knees so that you can last longer in these games without lots of knee bruising.
I hope this gave you a few more things to think about to help you and your child! Watch out for more tips to come.