Home is the Haven – Autism Friendly Home Environment
If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice as an Autistic parent to neurodivergent children, it would be to make our Autism home our haven.
When I say home is the haven what I mean is, it is our safe space. It is the one place that my neurodivergent children and myself can be our total selves, all of the time.
Home is the Haven – Autism Unmasking
So much of our daily lives as Autistic people we encounter bias and stigma, judgement and attitudes in the micro and macro moments. These moments of assumed cultural incompetence weigh heavy on the lives and in the minds of Autistic people. I feel the weight of the worlds assumptions and judgements myself as an adult, I do not want my Autistic children to have those same pressures and negative experiences, and yet they do, despite my best efforts.
Home is the Haven – Autism Radical Acceptance
In our home, it is safe to be yourself. I practice radical acceptance parenting and that means I accept my children just as they are. I do not want them to change who they are to meet some socially constructed ideal of perfection, I do not want them to ever feel that they cannot be themselves around me, in their home, in their haven.
Home is the Haven – Autistic Stability
They spin, stim and twirl around, shoes off, shoes on, whatever they need to have Autistic stability I want to be that for them, I want our home to be that place where they can come through the door and feel safe, grounded and secure.
As a professional I am only too aware of the trauma experienced by Autistic children, tweens and teens. I encounter it every day professionally when working 1:1 with families. I do my best for each family and always recommend that the first right step is to make home the haven.
I do not want my children or any family I support to find themselves in Autistic Freefall. I want them to be and feel supported just as they are. Autistic freefall can lead to burnout if not corrected and supported with neuro-affirming strategies.
How do you ensure home is the haven?
TO have an Autism friendly home environment really is to make your home a haven of total acceptance. Supporting your family members communication methodology, assessing the sensory environment and providing accommodations where needed. Accepting how your child chooses to socialise within the home, supporting their safe food choices, supporting their sensory preferences. Supporting them to embrace who they are on their terms.
Helping them to understand that societal expectations do not pass the threshold of your home. Social constructs and impending expectations remain firmly outside the door.
In our home we don’t have visitors. Unless it is immediate family who really understand Autism and Autistic culture, they do not pass the threshold. If they are not totally accepting of my children just as they are, then they do not pass the threshold.
Judgements and Attitudes
My children face a world of hostility, judgements and attitudes when they leave their haven, it has no place in their home.
Home is your safe place, its our place. Its where we belong and we can be ourselves.
Home is our haven.