The home should be a place of security, relaxation and comfort, no matter your age. And when you have children with additional needs, your home needs to be set up to meet their unique requirements. 

Home adaptations can transform the lives of the whole family, including parents and siblings, and even make tasks easier for visiting carers. Changes to the property also need to take into account future accessibility limitations, too. 

We know it can feel overwhelming, so we’ve broken down the topic of home adaptations for children with additional needs into bite-sized chunks.

The Need For Additional Space

The unique needs of a child with special needs often mean they require their own room. Many modern UK homes don’t have suitable space for this, especially if a ground floor room is needed.

Providing a child with their own room gives them a safe space as well as room for specialist equipment if required. Especially for families with multiple children, this issue can present problems for the affected siblings of adjusted bedroom arrangements. 

Building an extension is one way you can create additional space and help meet the whole family’s needs, but this isn’t an option for many families. 

Instead, there are plenty of home adaptations for children with additional needs that can be made throughout a property to help support the whole family.

The Bathroom

The bathroom is often one of the top priorities for home adaptations. For children with additional needs, changes can be made to enable bathroom facilities to be used safely.

Wet Rooms

Wet rooms, where the whole room is professionally tanked and sealed to create waterproof flooring and walls with an open-plan shower, are ideal because they remove trip hazards like shower trays. An accessible shower is also an option, and children can make use of shower seats to provide respite while washing.

Anyone with children will know, however, that some kids simply do not enjoy showers. Even the auditory experience of water beating down from above can deter children with additional needs from taking a shower, so sometimes, keeping a bath might be your preference.

Accessible Bathtub

Walk-in bathtubs can be entered low to or flush with the ground, making the process much safer. With a watertight door, and usually featuring a built-in seated area, walk-in baths can come equipped with extras such as water jets and safety features to make bathing a breeze.

Lift Aids

For some families, specialist lifting equipment will be necessary in the bathroom. Items like mesh bath slings, standing aids and hoists are all available to purchase.

Non-Slip Flooring

Tiles and wooden flooring can become extremely slippery when wet and are unsafe for children with additional needs. Non-slip alternatives reduce the risk of slips and falls onto hard flooring.

Raised Toilet

Conventional toilets sit too low for many people with limited mobility, and that can include children with special needs. A raised toilet minimises strain on the body when toileting. 

Grab Rails

Grab rails positioned near showers, baths, toilets, and sinks enable young users to access support when standing for long periods. 


Lever Taps

The hand movements required to turn regular taps can be too uncomfortable or difficult for young people with reduced mobility. Lever taps are much easier to manage and are a very affordable adaptation. 

Getting Outside

Being outdoors is often calming and helps provide entertainment and exercise.

A garden for children with additional needs may need…


As long as they are level and looked after, patios can be easier to navigate than uneven grassy areas. 

Pathways And Artificial Grass

For kids with reduced mobility levels who use a wheelchair, pathways and artificial grass are more accessible. Artificial grass is also far lower maintenance for parents and carers, too. 

Shaded Area

Creating a shaded area is top of the list for garden home adaptations. For children with additional needs, spending time in the fresh air comes with many benefits, but protection from the sun is a must.

Play Area

Children should be encouraged to play as much as possible because this is how they learn.  Home adaptations for children with additional needs span to specialist outdoor play equipment, too. The back-and-forth motion of swings, in particular, can be calming to a child and contribute to much-needed vestibular sensory input. 

Home Adaptations For Children With Additional Needs

Wheelchair Home Adaptations

Home adaptations for children with additional needs can be more specific if they require the use of a wheelchair.

Some aspects are more straightforward than others, but adapting a home to suit a wheelchair can take a lot of work. Some of the simpler adaptations include:

Widening Doorways

Most UK doorways aren’t wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Widening doorways provide enough room for wheelchair users to navigate the whole property.

Adding Ramps

Installing a ramp for a young wheelchair user is one of the more crucial home adaptations. For children with additional needs and their parents or carers, easy access to the home and within it is key to easy day-to-day life.


Stairs aren’t always a problem, but for many children with special needs and their families, the introduction of a stairlift can be transformational. Stairlifts are quick to install and immediately improve access between the floors of a property. 

home adaptations


While some users can get into and out of their wheelchairs independently, some young people will require a lot of support. For families like these, hoists are important home adaptations.

Changing Sinks

You might not think of the sink as being up there with other home adaptations for children with additional needs, but wheelchair users who cannot get their legs under a sink will struggle to use the facility effectively. Wall-hung modular versions are more accessible for wheelchair users. 

Some families make more significant home adaptations. For children with additional needs who use wheelchairs, bigger changes might include:

Building An Extension

Building an extension is a big project, but it solves the space problem for many families. The addition of an extra room downstairs is typically used for a downstairs bedroom.


Accessible bathing is crucial for families living with additional needs children.

Transforming an existing bathroom or installing a wet room, which is fully waterproof and encompasses a walk-in shower area, increases the safety of the space and allows carers to assist with bathroom tasks easily and comfortably. 

Getting Help With Funding Adaptations

Home adaptations for children with additional needs might seem daunting at first. Especially when you tally up the capital required to make the changes.

Thankfully, there are grants available to help with the costs, so it’s worth doing a little homework before continuing with your adaptation projects.

For everything you need to know about funding for home adaptations, take a look at our blog on the topic.  

Home Adaptations Make Life Easier

Making a home safe and comfortable is key to caring for children and young people with additional needs. Changes range from easy on the wallet to larger, more invasive projects, and the adaptations that work best will differ from family to family. 

Confused about which steps to make first? Want to talk to a real person about your worries? Have a look at our website and find out more about the John Ford Group.