The Washington Post

Designing rooms for children with special needs

This week’s Local Living section features an Alexandria mother and interior designer who was inspired by her experience with her son Sean to help others create practical and comfortable bedrooms for children with special needs.

Sean Rodriguez, 4, in the bedroom designed by his mother. (John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST)

From the story by staff writer Terri Sapienza:

At support group meetings, as parents discussed the different ways they managed their lives, Rodriguez would talk about the changes she made in her home that made life easier. For instance, she removed all the wall-to-wall carpeting around the house and installed hardwood floors so it would be easier to roll Sean’s IV pole.

In his bedroom, she reorganized his closet to keep his medical supplies close by. She found a bedside table with compartments for easy access to his medical equipment and favorite books. She removed the original bedroom door and installed a pocket door to make room for a comfortable, upholstered chair. She lowered the light switches so Sean could reach them, and she installed a control to the stereo system so he could have access to music. She painted the walls light blue and hired a muralist to paint an image above the bed of a little boy flying an airplane and laughing.

In addition to the story, there's a list of tips for setting up a room for a child who has medical needs. And don’t miss the photo gallery.


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