Often special needs children experience language delays or are nonverbal. They can experience frustration when not able to communicate their needs to their family members or peers. Pair that with being overwhelmed by lights, sounds and smells thoughout their day, and they can feel bombarded by stimuli everywhere. Having a place that your child can use to withdraw when things become too much can be such a comfort to them. It can be a tent, a teepee, a bunk bed with a curtain on the lower bunk, any place where they can crawl in to limit stimuli and experience a break from the outside world.
It doesn’t need to be large, but they need to be able to access it safely themselves. If they can control the flaps, and cocoon themselves in their small space, this will be a way they can give you a nonverbal cue that they have had enough, or need a break, or are feeling overwhelmed. When we introduced this into our playroom, his tantrums decreased significantly. He could change his environment on his own, for the first time in a meaningful way, without having to utter a word.