Sensory Rooms: A Safe Haven for Sensory Processing
Imagine a space where every element is designed to engage the senses in a positive and beneficial way. A room where lights, sounds, textures, and even scents harmonize to create an environment that can calm anxiety, improve focus and offer therapeutic benefits. When we moved into our second home in Welland, our Behaviour Support Manager, Fatema suggested one of the rooms could be used as a sensory room which could be made available for our clients, families, students and staff.
Our team have all contributed ideas as to how our sensory room could look and what we should add to the space to benefit everyone. It has become an enjoyable project which has been well received by everyone. One of our youngest clients attended his Occupational Therapy session there this week and immediately ran to the room with a gleaming smile and wide eyes excited for his appointment with OT, Harris.
What is a Sensory Room?
A sensory room, sometimes called a multisensory environment, is a specially designed space meant to help individuals with sensory processing disorders, including autism, ADHD and other neurological conditions, to regulate their brain's negative reactions to external stimuli.
Elements of a Sensory Room:
Lighting: Soft, controlled lighting often plays a pivotal role. LED light tubes, bubble tubes, or projectors that cast soothing patterns feature in our room and the overall lighting is flexible and can be adjusted to suit each client.
Tactile Stations: These can range from soft carpets and cushions, fidget tools, to textured walls or items that can be touched and manipulated, helping users explore different tactile sensations.
Auditory Elements: Sound machines producing calming sounds like waves or birdsongs, musical instruments, or therapeutic listening systems.
Visual Stimuli: Items such as liquid motion toys, lava lamps, or mirrored balls provide gentle visual stimulation.
Scent: Essential oil diffusers or scented pillows introduce calming or invigorating scents, depending on our clients needs.
Vestibular and Proprioceptive Equipment: Swings, trampolines, or weighted blankets can help those seeking movement.
Benefits of a Sensory Room:
Improved Regulation: For those overwhelmed by day-to-day sensory input, these rooms provide a break, helping to decrease agitation and increase calmness.
Enhanced Focus: The controlled environment can help improve concentration and attention.
Therapeutic Support: Occupational Therapists often use sensory rooms as tools to support their therapeutic goals, helping users gradually adapt to various sensory stimuli.
Safety: Sensory rooms provide a safe environment where users can explore at their own pace without the risk of injury or overwhelming stimuli.
In a world that often feels overwhelming and chaotic, sensory rooms stand as a testament to the power of understanding individual needs. They remind us that sometimes, we all need a little break from the world, a place where our senses can relax, rejuvenate and reset.
Next time you hear about a sensory room, remember it's more than just a room; it's a sanctuary for those in search of sensory solace. We welcome anyone to come by our Welland Clinic, meet our team and view our own sensory room. For more information or to discuss our Allied Health Services with our customer care team, contact us on 8462 0222 or via the button below:
Meet our Allied Health Service Team Here.
Lean about Occupational Therapy Assessments with Hessel Group Here.