When you have an autistic child, it is important to realize that they'll need special accommodations as they get older. All children want to be independent as they age. When your autistic child reaches adulthood, he or she may want to live on their own. This is not always the safest option though, because some autistic individuals cannot understand the severity of some of the dangers that come with living alone. A great way to give your child the independence they seek in a safe way is to have your basement remodeled into an apartment for them. The guide below walks you through a few things to consider when having a custom apartment created for your autistic child.
Consider the Bathroom
The first thing you need to consider is the bathroom layout for the apartment. Your child will need to be able to take care of their daily hygiene needs in a safe manner. Some autistic children have ticks that could cause them to have difficulty stepping over the edge of a traditional tub. A walk-in tub may be the best option for your child because you do not have to worry about them falling as they try to get in and out of the tub. The walk-in tubs have a small door that your child can open and close when he or she wants to get in and of the tub.
Consider a Modified Kitchen
When your child lives on their own, he or she will want to be able to prepare their own meals. It will not be safe to have a stove or oven within their apartment though. They could serve as safety hazards because your child could accidentally catch something on fire while they're cooking. Consider installing a microwave, a sink, and a refrigerator in their apartment. They will still be able to prepare meals on their own, but it will be in a much safer manner.
Consider the Entryway to the Apartment
Finally, you need to consider the entryway to the apartment. If there is a private entrance that leads to the outside from the basement, consider having it closed off while remodeling the basement. You do not want your child to be able to wander off without you knowing they have even left your home. Requiring them to walk through the living area where the rest of the family is living when they want to leave ensures that they're always as safe as possible at all times.
Remodeling a basement to fit the needs of your autistic child will not be difficult to do. Most contractors will be able to take care of the renovations in a very short period of time so that your child can start living independently as soon as possible.