October is National Sensory Awareness Month which rallies caring parents, educators, therapists and caregivers to spread awareness of sensory processing and how it affects children and adults every single day.
A huge part of treating individuals with these issues revolves around designing a safe and engaging sensory room to help them work through troubling stimuli.
Progress of Sensory Rooms
Sensory rooms or “Multi-Sensory Rooms” were invented by Dutch therapists in the 1970s to make areas that were forgiving and safe in the early days of sensory disorder research. After 40 years of medical breakthroughs, sensory rooms are still the ideal way to help those with sensory challenges. Sensory rooms are increasingly popular as they help the current 1 in 59 people that are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder which includes extreme cases of ADHD.
The Benefits of a Sensory Room
The designs of sensory rooms vary greatly, as no two people that benefit from them are the same. Some sensory rooms help develop coping skills when met with a negative sensation such as a loud noise. Others are designed to be a safe place to go in times of distress where they can work through their emotions and reactions.
Whatever the use of the sensory room may be, it is important that it is a welcoming and forgiving place for trauma victims and those with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder.
Designing a Sensory Room
A sensory room is only as helpful as its contents, and there are endless products that can help. It is important to make the room comfortable while also stimulating with as many senses as possible. White noise machines and aromatherapy diffusers are a great way to calm down through sound and smell, while soft chairs, foam flooring, and crash pads make the room comforting and safe.
It is important to give those with sensory challenges room to lie down or sit in a combination of natural and stimulating positions. We Sell Mats is the perfect place to purchase soft, forgiving surfaces in countless shapes and textures. Gymnastics pads are a great place to jump, sit and lie down while EVA foam tiles feature a range of interesting textures that are easy to install in creative places such as walls or the tops of tables.
At the end of the day, the perfect sensory room is the one that is tailored for the person it is treating. This National Sensory Awareness Month, We Sell Mats is proud to distribute products that put sensory rooms together and to recognize the parents/professionals that craft places that can make those with sensory challenges lives’ easier.
Check out embracingthespectrum.org for inspiration.