A sensory room can have a profound effect on the individual, offering a range of benefits for people with special needs. Whether you choose to transform a classroom, bedroom, garden or even a closet, you will provide a safe space for them to enjoy.
Otherwise known as a multisensory environment, a range of sensory equipment can be incorporated to soothe, calm, organize and orientate. It can capture both the attention and the imagination, helping the individual to interact and develop essential skills in a positive way.
This type of environment can benefit many different disorders and needs, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Sensory processing disorders
Designing and creating a sensory room can involve as much or as little personalization as you like, as we offer both ready-made bundles and a free room design service. However, there are certain aspects of your space that you should definitely consider before making your final decision.
What are the goals of your room?
Before you start designing a sensory room, it is important to consider why you’re making it. Are you trying to create a calm room or one for alerting? Do you need help selecting equipment to meet the goals of your room?
Some equipment is tailored to specific types of disorders, for example those with ADHD will need calming sensory solutions instead of active ones. Before creating a sensory room, consulting with a specialist can help to better meet the needs of these individuals. The age of those using the space can also be an important factor, for example children might enjoy toys more than adults.
Where should you place it?
When choosing where to create a sensory room, you need to consider several factors. For example, the room should have enough power outlets distributed around the walls. If possible, you should also choose a room without windows as they have more of an effect with controlled lighting.
Make sure that the space you choose is quiet, as noise can distract from its overall feel and effectiveness. It should also be easily accessible, and this is especially important if some users have limited mobility.
How many people will be using your space?
A calming room works best with no more than 3-4 users and individual sessions are even better. If your space is more closet-like, then you should limit it to one individual at a time.
Who is responsible for your room?
Supervision is an important part of sensory room sessions, especially for soft play rooms and sensory gardens.
Maintenance is another element which needs to be considered. Who is in charge of cleaning, repairing and replacing the various components? This is essential for keeping the space enjoyable and visually appealing, for example any bubble tubes will need to be cleaned to prevent algae and bacteria growth. An orientation for those using and supervising the room is a great idea to ensure they understand how to properly look after it.
What budget are you working towards?
Sensory rooms can range from a couple of hundred to several thousands of dollars. It really depends on your environment and your goals. If you’re building a budget, keep in mind that quality equipment is a better investment than off brand. Stick with a company that has a record for sensory room building and knows how to advise, install and hold your hand.