What Is a Sensory Room?
Sensory rooms are spaces that have been specifically designed to give an immersive sensory experience for people with various abilities. The features of a sensory space will differ depending on the user and their needs.
Sensory rooms typically use lights, sound, colors, and other sensory cues to calm, engage, and help users to develop emotionally and cognitively. They are designed to help users engage with their senses and reap the benefits of sensory stimulation in a safe and relaxed environment, regardless of their age or ability.
Experia USA is proud to offer the best sensory room equipment in the USA, all individually designed to suit the requirements of the users. We are experts at assessing your needs and providing the right equipment and design for any ability.
We also offer free room design if you need support with designing your dream sensory space and choosing equipment for sensory rooms. With support from our expert sensory advisors, we can help you create the perfect environment for the needs of your sensory room’s users.
The History of Sensory Rooms
In the Netherlands during the late 1970s, Dutch therapists Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheul designed a multisensory tent for individuals with learning difficulties. They aimed to create an immersive sensory space for individuals to interact with and enjoy sensory experiences in a safe, engaging space. They coined the term ‘Snoezelen’, which merges two Dutch terms ‘snuffelen’ (to explore) and ‘doezelen’ (to snooze). Nowadays, sensory rooms are a widely recognized and utilized form of therapy for individuals with sensory challenges.
Who Benefits from a Sensory Room?
Anyone can reap the benefits of a sensory room, however they are specifically designed for special populations who are often most in need of a safe, stimulating environment.
We can design and create a sensory space for a particular individual or group of users, tailoring the sensory room features to meet their needs. However, we also recognise that there are some general sensory solutions that are beneficial for specific groups.
For example, sensory rooms for autism are widely used and enjoyed by autistic children of all ages. Similarly, sensory rooms can be set-up in a way that is geared towards older, dementia patients. And a sensory room featuring soft play equipment is especially beneficial for children with cerebral palsy.
Where Can I Find a Sensory Space?
Sensory spaces can be designed to suit a variety of environments, whether that’s a dedicated sensory room or a sensory area. Some of the establishments where you might find a sensory space include:
• At home (for example, in a bedroom or bathroom)
• An occupational therapy room
• A nursing home
• A hospital
• A school
• A waiting room
• A swimming pool
• An office
• A prison
What Are the Benefits of a Sensory Room?
There are a huge number of benefits that a sensory space can provide, depending on the needs of the user. Our sensory rooms can be set up to provide a specific set of sensory solutions, helping to develop certain skills, including:
• Cause and Effect
• Color Recognition
• Hand to Eye Coordination
• Social Interaction
• Gross and Fine Motor Skills
• Speech and Language
• Emotional Intelligence
It is common for sensory rooms to be designed as calming or interactive. We can design sensory rooms to calm users who often need a relaxing, safe space to de-escalate from sensory overload, feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or hyperactive. Our sensory rooms can also incorporate tools to engage and excite users, helping individuals who struggle with sensory stimulation, under-stimulation, and withdrawal.
Sensory rooms that offer environmental control are also beneficial. Giving the user control over their environment in a safe, calm, and controlled way can do wonders for their development, learning, communication, and self-esteem. Many of our sensory products, especially our IRiS wireless range, were specially designed with environmental control in mind.
What Should a Sensory Room Look Like?
The look of a sensory room differs from space to space – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There are a variety of factors that will influence the look and feel of a sensory room, including users’ needs, size available, and budget.
For a hassle-free approach, we offer pre-designed sensory room packages. These packages are fully equipped with all the sensory tools the user will need. There’s a calming sensory package, an IRiS sensory package and even an underwater themed bundle. You’ll also find a sensory corner bundle and a sensory cocoon for those who are limited on space.
No matter how much room or budget you have to work with, you can create an effective sensory space. At Experia USA, we are experts at designing tailored sensory rooms no matter your needs.
What Should Be in a Sensory Room?
Sensory rooms are typically populated with specialized sensory products. The sensory products you choose to include in your sensory room will depend on the needs of the user. Examples of popular, sensory products include:
• Bubble tubes: for calming, focus and visual tracking.
• Projectors: for storytelling, relaxing and engaging social skills.
• Fiber optics: for calming, fine motor control and tactile stimulation.
• IRiS wireless products: for gross and fine motor skills and communication.
• Bubble walls: for relaxation, social interaction and visual tracking.
• Wall panels: for hand-eye coordination, communication and cause and effect.
We also have a range of portable sensory equipment if you need sensory solutions to bring with you on-the-go.
With so much choice, we understand that choosing the right sensory products may feel daunting. Our team are here to help you choose the right sensory room equipment for your space. Whether you need a sensory room for autism, a sensory space for down syndrome users, or a sensory corner for a smaller room, we can help.
Please get in touch for more information, sensory room advice, or to discuss how we can create a bespoke sensory room to suit your needs! Call us at 1-800-882-4045.