What Are Sensory Rooms and How to Make One

The sensory rooms are designed to help individuals with sensory issues, usually through special lighting, music, and objects. These are therapeutic spaces with various equipment for children with special needs, to help them calm, focus on themselves to prepare them for learning, and interacting with others. With the use of several pieces of equipment, they would learn to regulate their brain’s negative reactions to external stimuli by developing coping skills for these experiences, focusing on the present moment, to better process the sensory information.

The design and contents of a sensory room should be tailored to an individual’s needs. People with sensory issues have different requirements as they deal with various stimuli. Having a sensory room can make a big difference in a child’s development. However, several parents who have loved ones who can benefit from this, often think that they have not enough space, or an insufficient budget to create one. In this writing, let us have an in-depth discussion on why you need to consider having one.

Where to Begin?

Planning and designing the first sensory room in your home is quite challenging and overwhelming, especially if you are unsure where to start. To make the process easier, it is essential to know the things you need to consider.

●What does my child need?

The first step for having a sensory room is to identify the needs of your loved one. Everyone is different thus, setting up the sensory space should depend on an individuals’ challenges and sensitivities. You have to consider factors like age, specific triggers, and struggles of your child. For instance, others may require calming sensory inputs, need to work on the balance, dislike loud noises, while others have a sensitivity to textures, and struggle to hone motor skills. A sensory room should be a relaxing place for your loved one to destress and diffuse anxieties.

●Where to set up a sensory space?

It is not necessary to have a massive area or convert the entire room to a sensory space. Just ensure that it is in the corner of your home, away from any types of interruptions. The child should be able to spend time in the area without noticing sounds from television, shouting at family members, flushing toilets, and many more. If you have an extra room, you can visit here to have helpful information for specifications and create the perfect sensory space. The old storage area can also be converted into a sensory room, and you can install the choice of your necessary equipment with the assistance of specialist contractors. After you have decided on the location, the next thing would be decorating it. The room should be uncluttered, and you have to provide an area where to sit or lay down if the child needs to. The items should be at the right height and easy to reach.

What are the benefits of a sensory room?

A sensory room aims to target the eight senses, but the most familiar are sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Several children struggle to focus and have sensory difficulties that prevent them from engaging with the normal daily activities.

A person’s brain is designed to regulate our body’s responses to sensory experiences. For those with developmental disorders like autism, this process can be stressful, triggers anxiety and discomfort. The inability to regulate reactions to stimuli is called sensory processing disorder (SPD) which can result in behavioral outbursts, acting out, hand-flapping, chewing, and many more.  Based on various studies, sensory play is proven to be effective for children with autism, and other developmental disorders. Depending on the needs, sensory equipment that stimulates the eight senses helps the user in so many ways. These include calming their mood, improved focus, developed social skills, cognitive, and motor skills.

The negative reactions to different types of senses of your child can cause distress for both of you. When he or she is agitated, spending time in a calming room and taking charge of the emotions is a huge benefit. You may include an aromatherapy diffuser or white noise equipment that may help to regain the calmness of the emotions. As for individuals with ADHD or other developmental disorders, they are often challenged and struggle to pay attention to what is going on around them. A sensory room is a great way to help them increase awareness of the surroundings where concentration is primarily needed.

What are the products for the sensory room?

If you’re searching for ways to improve a sensory room, you need to look at different products. As explained above, a sensory space should stimulate the eight senses. Therefore, choosing the contents should vary on these, and also based on the needs of your loved one. For calming, you have to consider the lighting of the area. It’s also recommended to have space away from the window so you can put temporary lights. However, if you already have windows, then find dark curtains to soften the natural light, and attain the soft, calming feeling in the room.

You can also put an aromatherapy diffuser to reduce stress and anxiety.

Although it is highly suggested to have a peaceful and quiet area, in some cases a relaxing and calming sound is needed to enhance the sensory room experience. As for motor skills, you can put products that encourage balance and muscle strength. These are essential components of a sensory room including, donut balls, hanging chairs, and many more.

Creating a sensory room in your home is a good investment for your loved one. Providing a safe space to develop and overcome sensory difficulties is a very rewarding thing to do for your child. In some scenarios, a sensory room experience is useful for children who experienced trauma. The multiple benefits will make a huge difference not just for your child, but for the entire family members. To ensure you can achieve your desired sensory room, you can seek assistance from an occupational therapist or experts for the best results. In this case, you can be certain that the cost for every piece of equipment and product is worth it for your loved one.

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