What is a Sensory Stimulation Room?
A sensory stimulation room is a designated, controlled space specifically designed to address the needs of individuals who have sensory processing disorders. The sensory stimulation room is a therapeutic tool used in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions and mental disorders in both children and adults.
From kids with autism and developmental delays, to the elderly victims of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, sensory stimulation rooms show great success in the treatment of these disorders.
How Do Sensory Stimulation Rooms Work?
In addition to the conditions mentioned above, sensory stimulation rooms are used in the treatment plans for victims of brain trauma, intellectual disabilities and even people who are in the end stages of life.
The sensory room is a calming place where people can experience a quiet, yet softly stimulating environment. The space is safe, inviting, and client-focused. The rooms provide a place where clients can receive sensory stimulation, without expectations or the need for goal setting. They can freely utilize the equipment and enjoy the coziness of the space. The client engages in a range of sensory experiences, without the fear of judgement or failure.
How are the Rooms Designed?
Sensory stimulation rooms are multi-sensory environments. The opportunity have a multi-sensory experience while in the room is the goal of the design. Some clients enjoy sitting in soft, comfortable chairs while listening to music. Others enjoy the tactile stimulation area, where they can handle objects of different textures and shapes.
Clients enjoy rubbing fuzzy items against their skin, or feeling the cool smoothness of wooden blocks. If a participant is reluctant to enter an area, he may lose his fear by watching other clients enjoying an activity.
Some sensory stimulation rooms have the equipment to project colorful images on the wall that help clients focus, while regaining their composure after an over stimulating day.
The Healing Touch
The sense of touch is so important when dealing with people who are upset, confused or withdrawn. Foot massages, rubbing the shoulders, or simple hand-holding are all forms of tactile stimulation that occurs as part of the sensory stimulation plan. There is nothing more comforting than the human touch. Most people, regardless of their condition, crave that touch and respond positively to it.
What is the Outcome for Patients?
Sensory stimulation rooms have enormous benefits for the individuals who use them. The neutral environment builds confidence and self- esteem. Sensory rooms work on all the senses. They introduce subtle, comforting scents, and encourage Alzheimer’s patients to taste a variety of foods in an attempt to stimulate their appetites. Kids with autism love the tactile stimulation and the chance to dance to their own drummer without the usual therapeutic restrictions.
The chance to experience joy and carefree child-like play benefits the users more than any medication or other therapy ever could. Stimulating the senses stimulates the mind. That stimulation can provide a moment or two of happiness for the troubled patient. That’s what it’s all about.