With the many benefits a sensory room provides, it’s no wonder that they are so popular, but how do you create a sensory room? In this post, we take a closer look at the core areas a sensory room should address. Remember, a sensory space is where sensory information can be translated and interpreted in an organised and efficient manner. Outside of a sensory room, the nervous system must interpret and filter, however inside a sensory room, the information has been developed to work at “high efficiency”, which is why it is so important that the most beneficial sensory products are considered during the process.
How to create a sensory room:
1. Location of the room
When initially creating a sensory room, during the design process it's important to think of where your sensory room will be, either at home or within an establishment. Also, make sure the users of the room and their abilities are always at the forefront of your mind when thinking of the location of your room. If the user is distracted easily, for example, try building your sensory room in a space that’s pathway isn’t on a route where there will be heavy footfall and people passing by frequently, whilst they are using it.
2. The room itself
When building a sensory room it’s really important to think about the room itself, whether the space is suitable for the amount of equipment or the specific sensory room you want to create or not. If you are planning on using sensory equipment across different levels or mounted to walls, such as bubble walls and fibre optic showers, then you need to consider the shape as well as the height of the room.
The core of your sensory room starts with lighting and visual effects. White walls work best but whatever colour you choose, keep it simple. A good place to start is with a main feature product, such as a bubble tube. Then, products such as fibre optics and other sensory lighting can be added for a complimentary visual effect.
You can surround the room with reflections from a mirror ball or projector, using a variety of effect wheels. These can be interactive, remote-controlled or set to a certain colour or pattern. These visual tools are designed to orient, yet calm the nervous system. Changing colours can improve visual tracking skills and awareness skills, whilst providing relaxation and decreasing stress levels.
A sensory room can have a great effect on the auditory system through the use of soothing sounds, music and interactive sound panels. For those with auditory defensiveness or sensitivities, the sound system used in a sensory room can regulate their auditory responses. Often auditory sensory products can be used to develop many skills, for example, a sound wall is a perfect product to help develop cause and effect skills.
It’s important that dexterity and tactility are developed and discovered within a safe environment, making sensory rooms the ideal place for users to explore touch. Although most equipment in a sensory room is touch-friendly, products such as sensory wall panels are particularly effective within a sensory room, as they combine multiple skills and stimulate numerous senses.
If you need assistance with designing and creating a sensory room, Experia offers a free 3D room design service. With the help from our expert sensory advisor's, we can help you create the perfect environment for your particular needs. Please contact us today for further information on sensory rooms.