Fluorescent Light Covers Autism
You probably haven’t ever associated fluorescent light covers with autism, but they can make life a little easier for children – and adults, for that matter – who deal with this challenging condition. Lighting has a major effect on your life – more than you might think. When it comes to someone with autism, that affect is even more impactful. Light covers from Make Great Light can make a huge difference in their quality of life.
Lighting and Autism – What’s the Connection?
All children with autism are different, of course, and light affects them differently as a result. There are some autistic children who don’t notice light at all, while others can be severely troubled. Light can make some children calm, while it can stimulate others, and even hurt their eyes if the light is too harsh. [Source: Autism Parenting Magazine] When lights flicker or hum, that can even cause pain.
How can you tell when lighting overwhelms an autistic child? Here are just a few of the signs.
- Increased breathing and heart rate.
- An inability to focus.
- Signs of anxiety, restlessness or even fear.
- Being preoccupied with lighting, and unable to ignore it.
- Anger and irritability.
- Wanting to leave the area as fast as possible.
Many children with autism have difficulty expressing themselves, so they might not be able to tell you when lighting is causing issues. If you’re aware of these signs, however, you may be able to help.
Studies have shown that altering lighting can have a positive effect on autistic children. For example, researchers performed a study to test the impact of LED lights on student behavior. They looked at one group of children without autism, and another group that had the disorder.
According to the results, the behavior of both groups improved significantly when the lights were outfitted with slide bars that enabled teachers to dim the lighting.
How Does Fluorescent Lighting Affect Children with Autism?
Any kind of lighting can negatively impact an autistic child when it’s too bright. However, fluorescent lighting can be especially troubling. One of the symptoms of autism is photosensitivity, or an enhanced sensitivity to light. It’s estimated that as many as half of all children on the autistic spectrum have a severe sensitivity to fluorescent lighting.
Research shows that fluorescent lighting can increase the risk of repetitive behaviors in children with autism when compared to rooms that emit incandescent lights. A possible reason is that someone with autism may be especially troubled by the flickering of fluorescent lights. This, of course, can increase the chances of a breakdown.
Rather than exposing children to the harsh glare of fluorescent lighting, school districts may be better off considering the use of LED lights. Even better, they should consider using covers that can dim or brighten the lights when needed. If possible, schools could create “sensory rooms” that feature dim lighting and comfortable furniture to give kids a break from bright lights.
How Can Make Great Light Help?
Make Great Light creates light covers that can vastly reduce the negative effects of fluorescent lighting. We have a variety of products that can make a classroom a much more enjoyable environment. Fluorescent light covers for autism could make school much easier to handle, and encourage more learning as a result. Learn more about us by contacting us online or calling 612-399-6484.
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