Question : I’m desperate for any feng shui ideas regarding kids with autism. Can you help? My son has his own room, and I am willing to do anything to it to make all our lives better… as his autism affects the whole family greatly as he is very aggressive.
Answer : Aggression is being over stimulated in this, or I would guess, ANY child’s world. And, among the many theories out there these days about the cause of autism, both genes and environment are on the tops of many scientists’ lists. For example, a July study released by The California Department of Public Health suggested a connection between autism and exposure to pesticides while in the womb. Since environments, not genes, are my forte, I’ll give you some ideas from that point of view. For both aggression and “over-stimulated” symptoms, try to tone down the stimulation in the room, and then you can work your way out into other parts of the house as needed.
Here’s a quick list of ideas starting out with Healthy Bedroom Tips for Anyone, but especially for those with autism:
A. Remove Wi-fi, or any other wireless technology such as cordless phones, and baby monitors (get them away from the beds and crib please!) Although I suggest and sell the BioPro mitigation devices, I would suggest removing these items from a home that has such pronounced issue such as aggressive behaviors and autism if at all possible. At least try it first before taking a fallback position with mitigation devices.
B. Remove electro-pollution as much as possible. That means getting everything that plugs in, out of the bedroom. Heating blankets, waterbed heaters, lights built into the headboard or ANYTHING else plugged in near you while sleeping is a no-no for optimal health. If you can’t hire a bau-biologist or building biologist or a feng shui consultant who practices building biology practices, I would suggest shutting down the entire home’s circuit board while the family sleeps, or at least the circuits that run electricity in the walls of the bedrooms. Yes, you’ve got to get wind-up alarms, and yes, your food will stay cold in the fridge if it has to unplug for the experiment, but you may learn something about you son’s behavior in relation to “dirty electricity environments,” AND sleep better than ever before. I might suggest testing this first, before you make any other changes to anyone’s room or environments, to give it the X-factor test so you’ll know whether this is a factor or not. (If you do this for 30 days and see no improvement whatsoever, then go ahead and turn it all back on and work the other things.)C. Remove synthetic wall-to-wall carpet as it releases toxins into your breathing air. Use natural, hard-surface flooring with removable natural (like organic wool, cotton, sea grass, coir, sisal) rugs instead. If you meet this tip with resistance, read this article: http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm?fileName=030601a.xml#sidebar-1
D. Remove synthetic wallpaper with natural material and non-toxic paint and avoid as many plastic products as possible.
E. Avoid ionization-type smoke detectors (that have radioactive material in them if you can believe it) that can ruin sleep patterns and make anyone cranky or “aggressive!”
F. Remove any toxic cleaning or pest-controlling chemicals from the home and yard. There are many organic and natural substitutes out there these days if you just look.
G. If you’re going all out I’d suggest getting a natural latex “no springs” bed mattress and natural pillows and natural, untreated bedding fabrics. Also, do not use a water bed or a metal bed frame. The best bed is a full wooden frame, preferably with untreated, unsealed wood. Are you starting to get the connection between the chemicals and synthetics in the home and a not-so-healthy environment yet?
Here are some Traditional Feng Shui Tips That are Good for Anyone – especially those with challenges in life:
This one could be in the above category as well. Avoid an arrangement of having the bedroom connected to the garage (above it or next to it, etc.) Use a mirror in the bedroom facing the garage if you need to cure it if unavoidable (ie: a mirror face down under a bed if the garage is below the bedroom.)
Placing the bed in a good position – a solid wall at the head of the bed, being able to see who’s coming in the door but not be in line with it, and not having ANY electrical fields or electromagnetic fields on the bed (or play space for that matter.) Be mindful of what is on the other side of the wall from the headboard. Avoid locations where there is a toilet (or wet wall with water pipes in it,) stove, electronic device or circuit panel on the other side of the wall. Also consider what is above and below the bed and bedroom. If the air conditioner unit or a toilet is directly above the bed on the floor above, try a different location. If unavoidable, hang a crystal above the center of the bed with intentions of diffusing the harsh energy above.
No mirrors in the room unless your son’s room is above the garage where I would place a mirror under his bed, face down with the intention of deflecting the fast energy and toxicity of the garage away from the bedroom.
Hiding the bagua color pattern under the mattress (the bottom of the bed is the “door” side with blue, black and gray along that side and purple, red and pink towards the top of the bed.)
Avoid clutter at all costs. Every surface should have at least 50% of its space open and available (ie; half of the night stand top, half of the floor space, half the wall space, etc.)
Check out the creativity and children gua of every room in the house and the whole house’s creativity gua. If there is any element imbalance (like too much fire) or any literal imbalance (like a bookshelf that is leaning) balance it out.
Employ the helpful people box. Place your son’s name in it, so that he is helpful to you and your family. You can also place a request (written like a thank you note of course!) for help in building biology testing (below) or for proper teachers and helpers specifically for your son.
COLORS: Use warm muted colors – like a sage green. Don’t use bright colors – like reds and bright yellows especially. I’d suggest having the floor the darkest color in the room, (for more grounding – which is usually needed in these situations) the walls the middle color, and the ceiling the lightest color. Avoid painting the ceiling the same color as the walls, and avoid having white, extremely light, or blue flooring.
LIGHTING: Use incandescent lighting in a way that creates low light stimulus. Avoid big overhead lights. As far as natural light goes, avoid sky lights in the bedroom. Do not have the child’s bed in a location where sunlight hits his/her bed directly. Avoid fluorescent lighting.
SOUNDS: Classical string music works great (it exercises the 8th cranial nerve.) Extraneous noises (a humming computer CPU, fish tank, shocking neighboring noises) should be mitigated as best you can.
FURNISHINGS: Soft pillows and unstructured furnishings like bean bag chairs and hammocks and hammock-type swings work best. (Try to get natural fabrics as opposed to all synthetic.) Applying deep pressure (squeezing) 45 minutes to 2 hours a day in furnishings such as a hammock can help with his aggression. Those yoga balls that people use for office chairs are helpful in this room too. As far as the bed goes, avoid bunk or trundle beds on wheels.
TOYS, ETC.: I’m not sure how old your son is, but things like a sit-n-spin, scooter boards, and soft obstacle course-type items work well. Legos, puzzles, and other building sets are good, but make sure that they all have a tucked away place to be stored (especially if they are made of plastic – If the toys smell, they are off-gassing toxic emissions in the room. Do yourself and your child a favor and ditch anything made of PVC plastic – it is an assault on the environment and your health. I’ll go one up on you here: Remove PVC plastic shoes from the room. One trip to a cheap shoe store for a quick sniff and you get an idea of what those shoes are doing on a lesser scale in your kid’s room. Check your shoe brand’s company policy on PVC use in their products.) And since there is so much lead cropping up in toys these days, you might be interested in getting some home lead-testing kits. Here’s a link for you: http://ww8.aitsafe.com/go.htm?go=www.leadinspector.com/secure_order.html&afid=15914&tm=30&im=1
(This site also has a lot of information about where to look for lead in your home and how to avoid contamination.)
Try to keep the bed area as low stimulating as possible – especially at bedtime. If the “all-in-one” functioning bedroom is necessary, create a “sensory section” of the room where items can be explored such as clay (versus play-doh as it contains wheat) and hand-held massagers (but do your best to keep a distance from the bed zone.) Stuffed animals with different textures also work well (be mindful of allergies and dust mites with these and other soft/plush items – once again, natural fabrics that don’t hold an electrostatic charge and create ion imbalance is best!)
SYMBOLS: Add nature scenes, objects, materials, and other items that display natural perfection and order. (But avoid electrically-powered “nature” like a water fountain.) Remove any aggressive or on-the-move symbols such as action figures, bats and balls, bulldozers, etc. from fabrics and art. Avoid literally or visually sharp objects (like swords arrows, or baseball pennants) and replace with softer-edged or rounded shapes.
FOOD ENERGY TIPS: A gluten free, casein free, additive free diet is sometimes helpful in cases of autism. But this is a whole other conversation.
I could actually go on and on, but I think this is a good traditional feng shui starter list to consider.