When entering a sensory room for the first time, you may initially be astonished by the aesthetics of the room and the equipment in it . However, if you look closer at the individual utilizing the room, you will clearly see the benefits a multisensory room provides. Mutisensory rooms can offer calming, organizing, soothing and focusing benefits. Individuals with Alzheimer’s, anxiety, ADHD, Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), can benefit from regularly scheduled time in a multisensory environment.
A gym, classroom, closet, basement, or office can all be used to create a sensory space that can serve children and adults. However when designing your sensory room, there are a few different factors that you may want to consider in order for the room to best serve the individual you are creating it for. Read on to find out the key factors to consider when planning a multisensory room.
What is the Purpose of your Multisensory Room?
Before you start planning and buying equipment for your multisensory environment, it’s important to consider why you are creating a multisensory room.
Think about who will be using the room and in what way it will benefit their quality of life. Once you know the goals and purpose of your room,contact us so we can help you plan and select the right pieces of sensory room equipment to feature in the room. If the equipment requires electricity, consider how many power points you will need in the room and where these should be situated for safe and effective use of the sensory room equipment.
If you were considering a sensory bedroom as the best option for a particular user, but you are unsure how to implement your ideas, please read our previous post for all our top tips on setting up a sensory bedroom.
Mega Space or Small Space?
The size of your multisensory environment is very important at the planning stage. A darkened room works best (with dimmable lighting), so selecting or creating a space without windows is ideal, particularly as many sensory products use lighting and color to stimulate these senses. If there are windows, black-out curtains will help block most of the light coming in.
If you choose a room without windows, it is important to find a way to ventilate the room well as multisensory rooms can become hot, especially if they are in use for long periods or if they feature soft floor and wall padding. Air conditioning is the most effective (and quietest) ventilation method, but if this is out of the budget, fans are also a good option, as well as opening the door in between sessions.
Think about accessibility to the room and whether the room is in a quiet location as these factors should be prioritized at the earliest stages. If it’s next to a noisy gym or busy area, this isn't ideal as there will likely be distractions.
Ultimately, the space doesn’t have to be vast to provide huge benefits to the user, we have a range of different types and sizes of equipment to ensure that a multisensory environment suits specific requirements.
Users and Supervision
It’s important to remember that a multisensory environment needs to be kept quiet, calm, and peaceful for users to be able to benefit fully from their experience. Schedule time and limit the number of users in it at any given time. Having one or two users at once with an attendant for each can maximize the multisensory room benefits overall.
It’s also a good idea to think about who will be monitoring and maintaining your room. As a general rule, if your sensory room equipment is well maintained, it will last for years to come. With that being said, it's best that the professionals using your room are trained on how to use it and how to utilize each piece of equipment, rather than trying to do this yourself. This will ensure the equipment lasts much longer and is safe for everyone.
Create a Budget for your Room
Quality matters when you create a multisensory environment. Selecting equipment from a reputable company is always best to ensure the equipment is of a high quality.
It's important to choose a company whom you can trust, as well as being able to help you select what is best for you depending on your location. Many institutions hold fundraisers for their rooms to ensure they get the best quality room, however just be sure that before you order sensory room equipment or buy services that you have a budget or the funding secured already.
We love helping people design and meet their multisensory room needs, please check out our video testimonials to see how we have helped others previously in the design and implementation of their multisensory rooms. Get in touch with us today so we can help bring your sensory ideas to life!