Paint Colors For The Autism Spectrum

Room colors for children on the Autism Spectrum

Paint Colors For The Autism Spectrum

Paint Colors For The Autism Spectrum

Paint Color Choices For Children On The Autism Spectrum

Most of us take painting a room in our home as a simple weekend project. But for parents whose children are on the Autism Spectrum, painting a room can present a world of challenges. If your child is on the Autism Spectrum please take a look at the color suggestions below to get advice and inspiration for your next painting project.

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Considering Safety And Comfort with Color

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Considering Safety And Comfort with Color

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The CDC’s most recent statistics reported that 1 in 59 children will be diagnosed with ASD. Of those, boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
Children with ASD can suffer from developmental regression including loss of language skills and social interests. Nearly half will wander or bolt from safety and 28 percent of eight year-olds with ASD have self-injurious behaviors.
When designing spaces for these children, it is very important to consider not only safety and comfort, but color.
 

Reducing Stimulation Through Paint Color Choices

Neutral Paint Colors Help Reduce Visual Stimulation For Persons With Autism

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Reducing Stimulation Through Paint Color Choices

Research has found that several components of the eye are changed in Autistic children due to neural deficiencies and/or chemical imbalances. Some research has shown that almost 85% of children with ASD see colors with greater intensity than non-autistic children. Therefore is important to choose not only the right color but to limit the intensity of the shade.
Neutrals reduce visual stimulation, stay away from bright whites and any colors that might remind your child of a visit to the hospital or other facilities that your child might correlate with an unpleasant medical experience.

Creating Calm Through Color

Reduce Stimulation With Softer Paint Colors

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Creating Calm Through Color

Children’s medical offices can often have an overload of primary colors including red, blue and yellow in their fullest intensity. Full intensity colors should be avoided.
Red should never be used in the home as children with ASD perceive the color as florescent.
Yellows likewise are very stimulating and are best to avoid.
Greens, blues, pinks, soft oranges and neutrals can be very comforting. Keeping the colors muted, these tones can quiet the mind and create calm. PPG has a special collection of Harmony colors that work wonderfully for this purpose. Here are some good choices broken down into paint color families.

Neutralizing Colors For The Autistic Spectrum

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Neutralizing Colors For The Autistic Spectrum

Neutrals: Wheat Sheaf (PPG 14-21); Fishermen’s Net, (PPG 14-25) Armadillo (PPG 14-17) and Summer Wheat (PPG 14-10) are all excellent choices for a Neutral Color palette.

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The Restorative Powers Of Green

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

The Restorative Powers Of Green

Greens: This is a winning color family. The eye does not distort green and it is very soothing. In the Dale, (PPG 11-10), True to You, (PPG 1118-3) Great Joy (PPG 1120-3) More Melon, (PPG 1116-2) and Lettuce Alone (PPG 1222-4) are nice, calm greens that represent a beautiful array of restorative colors. Misty Aqua, (PPG 1147-3) can also be fun and create a feeling of joy in children.

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Blues Leaning Towards Teal

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Blues Leaning Towards Teal

Blues: Blues should lean more towards the green and teal family. Although blue can be calming, too much or too dark can feel depressing. Colors like Simply Elegant (PPG1155-3) Crystal Lake (PPG 1151-4) and Magical (PPG 1160-2) may be more endearing to your child.

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Violets Evoke Safety & Love

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Violets Evoke Safety & Love

Pinks and Violets: These colors are very calming for children and evoke feelings of safety and love. On the violet side, shades like Misty Violet, (PPG 1247-3) and Frosted Lilac (PPG 1173-3) create a sweet and calming aura while soft pinks like Rose Blush (PPG 18-18) and Just Blush (PPG 18-17) are lovely, cleaner pinks. Rose Cloud (PPG1048-3) and Nostalgia (PPG1049-3) bring more mauve to the space.

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Warm & Welcoming Oranges

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Warm & Welcoming Oranges

Soft Orange and corals: It may seem counterintuitive to call Orange a calming color, but in the right tones, the color family can be very welcoming, warm and comforting. One bonus: using a soft orange or coral in the kitchen may help stimulate appetites and keep mealtime more manageable with picky eaters. Look to shades like Peach Beauty (PPG 18-27) and Beige Llama (PPG 18-13) to lean to the pastel- coral side of things while Peach Darling (PPG 1201-3) and Caramel Ice (PPG 1202-4) will put a nice warm glow in the room.

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Minimize Contrast For Comfort

Avoid High Contrast With Color Choices

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Minimize Contrast For Comfort

Minimizing the contrast is a key in placing color in these spaces. Paint the ceiling in the rooms a lighter version of that color to reduce the level of contrast between the ceilings and walls. Also, avoid using bright white trim around windows, baseboards and doors. The high contrast can create visual lines on the walls. It is perfectly acceptable to use the same shade of paint in a different sheen. For example, eggshell on the wall and satin on the trim. You could also go up or down one shade on the color stripe for the trim color. This will create subtle shading and look beautiful.

Avoid The Extremes

Choose Simple Accessories Without A Lot Of Patterns

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

Avoid The Extremes

It is also best to avoid patterns and high contrast between window treatments and walls. Stripes, prints and other patterns can become busy and distracting, especially in bedrooms. When using fabric blinds, try to make the blind blend with the wall color. Linen, taupe and soft gray are better choices. Keep bedding colors and patterns simple as well.
Color can be your best friend when designing spaces. It is one of the easiest fixes you can make for the smallest amount of investment.

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Comforting Colors Can Leading To Relaxed Moods

Room Paint Color Choices For Autistic Persons

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PPG makes it easy to see what your paint color will look like. You can order large 8 by 8 swatches online for free. These swatches allow you to see a larger representation of the color in your home before you buy. 

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Support help and resources are available at Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org or 1-888-AUTISM2 (1-888-288-4762; En Español: 1-888-772-9050) The Autism Response Team can answer your questions, connect you with tools and resources, and help you find autism services and supports in your community.