Every family wants a home that is safe and secure, with enough space to live healthily and happily.
There are often straightforward and affordable interventions that families can put in place to adapt their current housing to create an environment where they can manage their child’s behaviour more effectively. This is often easier and more cost effective than moving house, however, unfortunately in some cases, looking for alternative housing may be the only option.
For families where a child displays challenging behaviour, this may mean that certain adaptations need to be made to the home in order to help the child feel happier and be safe. This could include:
• Making furniture and fittings safe to help manage difficult behavioural situations better.
• Creating a space where the child feels secure and can relax. Redesigning a room to provide more open or closed space could help the child feel less anxious about being in particular rooms or with particular people.
• Transforming one area or a room to provide a sensory-focused space where lighting, acoustics, furniture and layout can provide a more relaxing atmosphere where the child can relax, which will hopefully reduce anxiety and improve behaviour.
• Provide separate bedrooms or additional communal space to allow siblings some personal space, and also to ensure their sleep is not disturbed
• Assistive technology that can be used to help keep the child safe, such as sensors that alert parents or carers that the child is having a seizure, is out of bed or is going to the front door.
Learning Disability England has produced a new guide for families of children with autism/learning disabilities who display challenging behaviour - "Life begins at home".
This guide can be found on the external links on the right of this page.
the guide has been written with support from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and has been funded by NHS England. The aim of the guide is to support families to get the housing they need to remain living together as a family in the local community.
Please note, the guide is in PDF format, so you will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader to be able to read it. You can download that here.
Life begins at home offers practical advice for families on the choices they have to get housing or adapt current housing to meet their needs, and provides information on:
• What families say they need from housing
• How families can manage their situation with better housing
• How families can get the housing they need
• Paying for housing and adaptations
• What the law says about housing for families of disabled children
• Getting more help
The guide provides example case studies and lots of useful links to help you find more information. They have also provided a range of useful resources on their website, including some helpful guides about safety in the home and adaptations that can be made (written by Croydon Health Services NHS Trust but these are generic guides that are useful for Hampshire parents to refer to).
The guides provide lots of ideas of possible solutions to meet particular needs, for instance how to keep a child with challenging behaviour safe in a car or near water in the home. They also provide a list of suggested suppliers for equipment and adaptations.
There is an easy-to-read guide about your home. It's been written specially for people with learning difficulties.
The guide tells you all about renting a house or flat or owning a home. It goes though everything you have to think about, like paying the rent or mortgage, and paying your gas and electricity bills.
To view the guide, see the external link on the right of this page.