What’s the sensory environment?
A sensory environment is a technological tool that exists in a secure manageable space, to help its users to develop their senses by motivating. This technology is provided by lights, music, interactive games and sound effects inspired by nature or our daily lives. It is a created controlled environment designed to achieve several goals, including Resting, relaxing, learning and habilitation all that through the use of stimuli (Assistive sensory tools), which relies on music and lights that stimulate the human senses so in result we can deliver the information to a child in a simple interactive way.
Sensory environmental uses and sectors of use:
The sensory environment is used in many sectors: education, health, entertainment, or rehabilitation. It is designed to provide an environment that meets the needs of its users whether it is a rehabilitative or educational need. So accordingly it can be used in kindergarten, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or even at home. There is a lot of studies on the efficiency and impact of the sensory environment on its users, to explain more the user will interact with the sensory environment without following any restrictive rules despite the presence of the therapist or teacher within the sensory environment, who selects the appropriate activities that achieve the desired goal.
Benefits of the sensory environment:
The sensory environment brings many benefits to the five senses, education and rehabilitation. What we mean by that is that the child himself will explore the surrounding area by her or his senses, therefore, developing his sensory cognitive skills. Also, this environment achieves some kind of mental and physical relaxation not only but also, the discharge of psychological stress. By that it provides a stimulating environment for learning, developing social and communication, reducing aggressiveness through entertainment, and a safe environment.
Features of the sensory environment:
What characterizes the sensory environment is that it is not limited to a particular age or skills anyone can enjoy this experience. Moreover, it is suitable for kindergarten, schools, homes and rehabilitation centers so it is a safe easy environment that can be used in different sectors.
Sensory box and sensory room, what’s the difference?
Sensory environment is divided into two main sections: The sensory box and the sensory room.
The sensory box is a technological interactive system developed to create a sensory environment in an accessible and cost-saving way so, it is not a complicated tool to deal with so you can build that world within minutes. The sensory environment contains a lot of learning programs so, the user can change the lighting, music, and pictures to create a sensory environment that suits his needs. In that way, we encourage the child to learn in his own world.
Moving on to the sensory room, it is a controlled integrated environment that allows the user to experience a variety of sensory activities in a comfortable directed way. The room has interactive systems that meet the needs that the normal room in the school or the rehabilitation center does not, since each corner of the room is very important on its own and work individually but they are all integrated to achieve the main goal of treatment to each child who enters it.
Sensory environment tools:
The sensory environment is a comfortable area that consists of a variety of tools that helps to achieve the desired goals. For example, every color in the sensory environment performs a specific function, some help to relax others help to stimulate. In that way, the appropriate lighting is therefore chosen to achieve the desired goal, even the music play a role in calming the environment. All those features integrate together to help in many things like focus, relax, balance, and stimulating the memory for its users.
The senses are stimulated and developed through the use of these tools that consisted of the sensory box with its contents, the touch screen, the interactive floor, table and staircase also the interactive lights system, bubble tubes and grain couch. They all integrate together to achieve multi-sensory reactions by touching them with their senses all that while they are playing to create at the end a relaxed environment for the user.
Stimulating the senses is an important basic human need for development, learning and improving the quality of life of the user of the sensory environment.
The sensory environment in Palestine:
In Palestine, there is a sensory environment in many sectors of education, rehabilitation, and houses through Iris Interactive Solutions Company, it is a leading company in the sensory environment that was established in 2012. Iris Company provides Sensory Room service and Sensory Box in two versions and they are many sensory rooms that have been implemented in Palestine in collaboration with many institutions. Besides that, there are Sensory Room Service that is located in more than 250 centers and schools within Palestine and benefits 360,000 users.