Our Sensory Room
A sensory room is a specially designed room which combines a range of stimuli to help individuals develop and engage their senses. These can include lights, colours, sounds, sensory soft play resources and aromas, all used within a safe environment that allows the person using it to explore and interact without risk.
There are many benefits of a sensory room for those who have learning difficulties, developmental disabilities or sensory processing impairments, helping them learn to interact with the world around them in a safe environment that builds up their confidence and their ability. The user gets an unrestrained, non-threatening space where they can explore at their own leisure, and this freedom lets their teacher, therapist or carer see what calms them, rouses them and what they do or don’t like.
Benefits of having a Sensory Room
There are a whole host of benefits of a sensory room for those who require them. Some of these include:
Encouraging the user to engage with and explore the environment can have positive effects on their ability to understand, react and interact with the larger world around them.
Enhance learning through play
Sensory rooms for children should be designed with learning and fun in mind. Sensory play helps children to develop their senses, encourages problem-solving and can build nerve connections in the brain. This is a great benefit of a sensory room as it engages different areas of the brain, helping children absorb and retain more information.
Improve balance, movement and spatial orientation
Sensory rooms can help develop users’ visual processing abilities as well as their fine and gross motor skills, facilitating day-to-day living. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with physical difficulties or cerebral palsy.
Develop communication skills
For some individuals, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder, both verbal and non-verbal communication is a challenge. Interactive sensory rooms can help to engage withdrawn individuals, and sensory equipment that focuses on sound can be especially helpful in encouraging vocalisation.
Sensory environments can be highly absorbing, providing a moment of comfort and calm for overactive and distressed individuals. Similarly, the safe and controlled nature of a sensory room can benefits withdrawn individuals feel comfortable enough to interact with their surroundings.
Some individuals find it difficult to focus. In fact, this is a common trait for those with ADHD, who may struggle to regulate their focus. Sensory equipment is designed to help users concentrate on the activity in hand and, what’s more, the atmosphere of a well-designed sensory room should help to enhance focus. This is an important skill for children to develop so they can cope with real-world environments where calm and concentration is key.
A great benefit of sensory rooms is that they can be used by individuals or in groups. Using a sensory room with others can help to promote socialisation skills in a safe, calm and stress-free environment. If you’re designing a sensory room in a school or care home, for example, it’s great to consider how you can cater to the needs of a group and encourage interaction between users. Group sensory rooms can also help users understand cause-and-effect, for example how their decisions or movements may affect others.