What is the Sensory Environment?
The sensory environment is a safe space in which a user is able to learn, play, and practise sensory, cognitive, and motor activities. It is one of the tools used to help with education and rehabilitation. A sensory environment (also known as a sensory room or multi-sensory room) is a simple and effective way to stimulate the senses. A sensory room is a catch-all term for a variety of therapeutic and educational spaces designed to promote self-regulation and positive change.
The sensory room is based on two fundamental principles: isolating the user from outside distractions and stimuli. And, providing a sensory experience that is both immersive and user-customizable. This is accomplished through the use of both technological and non-technological tools.
When used correctly and appropriately, it can provide the following benefits:
- Offer a safe space for the user.
- Enhance and facilitate the therapeutic, rehabilitation, or educational process.
- Increase social inclusion and communication.
- A supportive environment for skill development and therapeutic activities.
- Encourage self-care, resilience, and healing.
Sensory Rooms components
The sensory environment contains a variety of sensory elements that allow the user to stimulate one or more senses simultaneously. It typically contains one or more of the following:
- Lighting stimulation tools
Including: Projectors, bubble tube, coloured lights, fiber optics, ultraviolet lamps, and other optical instruments.
- Audio stimulation tools
Such as natural sounds, animal sounds, and sounds derived from everyday life.
Music with rhythmic, calming, or sleep aid music
- Tactile sensory stimulates
Tactile wall, play dough, and materials with various textures are examples.
- Sensory motor activities resources
Like: Space bag, jockey & sailor swings, and interactive steps.
- Cause & Effect tools
Tools that change based on how the user interacts with them, such as the interactive floor and interactive sound system.
- Elements of a soft environment
They are the materials on the floor and walls that are safe to move and sit on, such as bean bags and foam flooring.
Benefits and Usage
The sensory environment can benefit everyone, without exception. Individuals can control their stress levels in a humane and effective manner. Positive and negative emotions and thoughts are channelled with ease within such environment. This makes it a comprehensive and versatile tool. Education, health, and rehabilitation sectors are among the most beneficent of such tool. Typical places where sensory environments: Primary schools, kindergartens, nurseries, rehabilitation centres, and hospitals. Recently, sensory environments have begun to be provided in homes, gyms, body care centres, airports, and high-pressure work environments.
The use of sensory rooms is not restricted to a specific age group or set of skills and abilities. Where children as young as three years old can enjoy this experience under the supervision of a specialist. It is also convenient, simple to use, and safe. The operator can design the session to suit to different age groups.
Several recent studies have highlighted the effectiveness and impact of the sensory environment on its users. As the individual interacts without following orders or rules, the sensory environment employs people going through normal developmental stages, as well as individuals diagnosed with developmental disorders and people with special needs. Children with autism disorders, sensory issues, and learning disabilities are among the groups that benefit the most from these rooms.
What is the difference between sensoryREADY and Sensory Environment?
We are frequently asked this question. We’ll try to respond below:
The sensoryREADY is an interactive technology system that quickly and easily creates a sensory environment. And, it allows the user to change the lighting, music, and images to create an environment that suits his needs. sensory environment offers a wide range of educational programmes and aims to encourage children to learn by providing an enjoyable sensory environment. And it is simple to install and can be used in conjunction with the sensory tools in the room or on its own.
The sensory room is a room integrated with controlled sensory tools that allows the user to engage in a variety of activities in a gentle and directed manner. As each corner of the room is of great importance, working individually, but integrated in purpose and treatment for each child who enters it. The room contains interactive systems that meet needs that are not met by the regular room in the school or rehabilitation center.
Every sensory room has a sensoryREADY at its core. It is the tool that controls the lighting, sound, music, and image, and the sensory room contains a set of supporting sensory tools to more precisely customise the sensory experience. You can find out more about assistive tools here.
The stimulation of the senses is a fundamental human need for growth, learning, and an improved quality of life.
Sensory Environment in Palestine
The sensory environment is available in many sectors of education, rehabilitation, and homes in Palestine. There are 450 sensory rooms and sensory environments in public and private schools, kindergartens, and rehabilitation centers. There are approximately 10,000 users who will benefit from it on daily basis.