Sensory rooms, also known as multisensory environments, are specialised spaces designed to stimulate the senses and provide a calming and therapeutic experience for individuals with sensory processing disorders or other special needs.
These rooms are often found in schools, hospitals, and other public spaces, and can provide a much-needed break for individuals who may be overwhelmed by the stimuli of their environment.
Equipment for Sensory Rooms
Sensory rooms typically include a variety of sensory equipment, such as soft lighting, bubble tubes, fibre optic strands, and other visual and tactile stimuli. The goal of a sensory room is to provide a safe and controlled environment where individuals can relax and engage their senses in a way that is both enjoyable and therapeutic.
Advantages of a Sensory Space
In addition to providing a calming space, sensory rooms can also help individuals develop important sensory processing skills. For example, a person with a sensory processing disorder may have difficulty with fine motor skills, such as writing or buttoning a shirt. By engaging with the sensory equipment in a sensory room, they can improve their ability to process sensory information and develop the skills they need to function more independently in their daily life.
Sensory rooms can also be a valuable resource for individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities because they provide a controlled environment where individuals can engage with sensory stimuli in a way that is safe and therapeutic. Many individuals with autism have sensory processing needs, and a sensory room can provide a much-needed break from the overwhelming stimuli of the outside world.
Sensory Spaces for Autism
Sensory rooms can provide a space where individuals with autism can learn to regulate their sensory responses, which can improve their overall functioning and ability to engage with the world around them. The soft lighting, calming music, and tactile surfaces, can help to calm and relax individuals with autism.
In addition, the structured and controlled environment of a sensory room can be helpful for individuals with autism who may struggle with transitions or changes in their routine.
Promoting Sensory Spaces
Multiple organisations have started to build onsite sensory rooms for people travelling with hidden disabilities. Heathrow airport is one of these organisations and also has a “Sunflower Lanyard Scheme” which has been issued to over 8,000 passengers. The scheme discretely lets staff know that the customer might need extra assistance around the airport.
Heathrow Terminal 3 has a sensory room and there has been very positive feedback so far, particularly for children - with parents saying “this is a lifeline and much-needed resource at all airports.”
For the World Cup 2022, 3 Qatar stadiums have designed into the venue a sensory room for fans who might be overwhelmed by large crowds or loud noise and for those in need of a quiet and calming space. It is the first time that sensory rooms have been available at tournaments. BBC Sport explored the sensory rooms and spoke with a mother and her young son, to find that the sensory room meant her son could enjoy watching the World Cup.
Overall, sensory rooms are a valuable resource for individuals with sensory processing disorders or other special needs. By providing a safe and controlled environment where individuals can engage their senses and develop important skills, sensory rooms can help improve quality of life and promote independence.
Add to your Sensory Room
Would you like to build your own sensory space or like an addition to your sensory room? PODS Play design and create magical, children's play tents that only take 40 seconds to fully inflate. We have seven different adventurous themes to choose from…
Inflatable Sensory Spaces
Once your children's play tent has fully inflated, connect to your Bluetooth speaker to play audiobooks and sound effects related to your chosen theme. Then let the adventure begin as your child immerses themselves within a unique sensory experience!
If you are looking for your own sensory inflatable POD, get in touch with our friendly team today and we can provide you with more information.