Sensory rooms are uniquely designed rooms that utilize lighting, textures, colours, furniture, and tools to inspire calmness and comfort. When used properly, these spaces are effective for achieving three main outcomes.
De-Escalation and Crisis Management
Also known as calming rooms, sensory spaces are outfitted in such a way to promote peace and tranquillity. The lights are softer, sounds are dampened, and objects are soft and touchable. In a crisis, a person may use a sensory room to decompress and de-escalate by themselves or with the help of a trained worker. For example, sensory processing disorders are common in autistic individuals or those with ADHD. When they become too stimulated it can prompt a meltdown. Seemingly inconsequential things like fluorescent lighting or the ticking of a clock can be intensely triggering. Those suffering from withdrawal symptoms or the stress of a hospital environment may also experience sensory triggers. A sensory room removes as many of those elements as possible so that the person may regulate in a safe space.
A Place for Therapeutic Exchange
Mental health and even physical therapies have come a long way in the past century. More and more practitioners are seeking non-pharmacological methods alongside medication and experiencing exceptional results. Sensory rooms are another tool that professionals may use to benefit the objectives of their practice. Being in a calm space is often enough to make a session more productive. Frustrations melt away and stimuli are presented in a controlled and kind manner through a variety of products. Depending on the need, many different skills can be developed in this way. Examples are fine motor skills, communication, and problem-solving.
Nurturing Resilience and Recovery
While important, the need for sensory rooms is much deeper than medical outcomes. These spaces promote a sense of wellbeing and autonomy. They allow people of all neurotypes to relax, regulate, and explore at their own pace. It’s no wonder that the need for restraints is greatly reduced in medical settings when a calming room is used. As they de-escalate or learn sensory integration, children and adults alike can use this space to develop relationships with their caregivers, each other, and themselves. As these skills and confidence are practiced, they solidify, and the person may take them out into the world. This is truly the most beautiful part of what we do - creating a space for people to find peace inside our rooms so that they can shine just as brightly outside of them, too.
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