April is autism awareness month. Autism spectrum disorder is a neurobehavioral condition that affects a significant number of newborns in the United States and all over the world. The Center for Disease and Prevention approximates that at least one in every 65 births in the United States is an Autism case. Individuals who suffer from this condition tend to experience hypersensitivity to normal senses and find it difficult to understand what other people are thinking and feeling.
Light can have a substantial influence on autistic individuals. Different colored light can affect their moods in different ways while the absence of sufficient natural light can lead to depression. Here are three tips to guide you in helping those with autism through lighting design.
Avoid Use of Direct Fluorescent Lighting
People with autism are more vulnerable to the flicker of fluorescent lighting. These lights can be distracting to such people to the point of being debilitating since they can see the light flickering at about 60 flashes per second.
Some fluorescent lights have a flicker of up to 120Hz, which can be even more damaging. This type of light can cause a severe headache, increase repetitive behavior and eye strain. Small children who have autism can even wet their pants when they enter a room with fluorescent lights.
Bring In More Natural Light
Therapists recommend exposure to natural light as one of the effective ways of helping autistic individuals. Natural light therapy can be as simple as ensuring that your window curtains have been opened to allow in more natural light. Maximum exposure to natural light may help relieve the symptoms of the disorder and also improve other behavioral issues. In fact, medical scientists believe that there is a strong connection between autism and the shorter days during winter and fall seasons.
Go Blue with Your Lights
Blue lights can calm the mind and aid concentration unlike red or yellow lights. Changing your lights to blue can go a long way in helping people with autism. Some of the ways that you can achieve this is by changing your indoor and outdoor bulbs from the regular colorless bulbs to blue bulbs. You can also tint your house windows with blue gel sheets.
Kickstart your journey towards helping your autistic loved ones by getting them quality indoor and outdoor furniture. Raise awareness for autism by sharing a selfie in blue with #RegencyBlue on Facebook and Instagram.