What is a sensory room?

A sensory room is a multisensory space that is used to provide people with sensory integration difficulties with additional sensory stimulation or to reduce sensory stimuli. Although mainly used for children with sensory integration disorder or autism spectrum disorder, in Western countries sensory rooms are often used in homes for the elderly and infirm.

Which sensory room to choose?

There are two basic types of sensory rooms, which differ in their purpose and the type of work carried out in them.

To work in targeted areas with children with sensory integration difficulties (which often occur as part of an autism spectrum disorder, but can also occur independently of other developmental difficulties), sensory rooms are organized in such a way as to offer many opportunities for acquiring different sensory experiences, development skills and encourage active exploration of the environment. These sensory rooms are cabinets for sensory integration.

The therapist plans how he will use each element and adjusts the activities depending on the abilities and needs of the child. An example of one of the indispensable elements in this type of sensory room is a pool with balls. A pool with balls provides the child with many different stimuli - tactile, sound and visual, and thus the child can satisfy his sensory needs and accordingly regulate his behavior better. Thanks to this, the child is more ready to learn so that the therapist can use the situation in the pool to work on educational-rehabilitation goals such as the acquisition of colors, counting, hand coordination, cooperation in play and many others.

Another type of sensory room is the Snoezelen whose unusual name comes from the Dutch words snuffelen, meaning to sniff (to explore) and doezelen, meaning to snooze. In other words, the purpose of such a sensory room is to give people a safe environment to relax and encourage them to interact with the environment.

Snoezelen offers users a multitude of multisensory stimuli - colors, smells, vibrations, sounds and many others. One of the favorite elements of snoezelen is the Bubble Tube lamp, a lamp that combines colors and bubbles and thus captures and maintains the user's attention. In order for each user to be able to independently adjust the dynamics and color of the Bubble Tube lamp, regardless of their motor, intellectual and perceptual functioning, various accompanying devices have been developed, so that the lamp can be controlled by touch, switches or voice. Not only the Bubble Tube lamp is so adapted, each of the elements meets high accessibility criteria so that even a user with basic abilities can make a big impact on his surroundings.

These are primarily spaces that calm and create a sense of security in a person, but they are also used for the purpose of encouraging learning and social interaction and reducing undesirable behaviors , which leads to the ultimate goal of a sensory room - improving the quality of a person's life. These rooms enable people who, due to difficulties in sensory functioning, cannot freely explore the world, to learn and gain experience in a safe and protected environment .

Watch a short video about the Snoezelen sensory room and the possibilities it offers for you!

How does the sensory room work?

Cabinets for sensory integration and Snoezelen rooms enable people who cannot freely explore the world due to difficulties in sensory functioning, to learn and gain experience in a safe and protected environment .

Sensory stimulation of all senses can be easily controlled; it can increase or decrease, it can focus on one sensory system, or it can work on two or more sensory systems simultaneously.

The therapist can use different activities that challenge the person, but which they can still successfully master. Activities are chosen to suit the individual needs of each user. It can be fun and relaxing explorations of the sensory room (Snoezelen) in which the user is given the autonomy to choose activities, or it can be an approach in which the sensory room is a tool for achieving specific and measurable educational-rehabilitation goals (sensory integration cabinet).

These are the most common benefits of sensory rooms:

they create a sense of security and calm the child

they encourage learning

improves concentration

improve communication skills

they prevent frequent and sudden changes in mood and undesirable behavior.

improve self-control

improve the quality of life of children

What does the sensory room look like and what is in it?

The room is equipped with soft wall coverings and a floor. It contains a set of equipment from different elements. Numerous elements can be installed in the sensory room - depending on the needs of the institution, school or center. From the multitude of elements, we singled out the most common ones:

A light projector that creates enlarged images on the wall via a rotating disk. He creates beautiful and interesting projections in the room (overflow of colors, "sea bottom", etc.). This element serves for passive manipulation and is more often used in Snoezelen sensory relaxation rooms.

A rotating "disco" ball that is used in combination with a colored light source and creates special light effects (eg point light all over the room that "spins", "swings" and changes colors).

A bundle of luminous optical fibers that change color, can bend, cover the body, etc. They are a more common element in relaxation rooms - Snoezelen rooms.

Interactive tubes with bubbles and balls . The tubes are filled with water and the bubbles push the balls inside the tube. The light in the tubes changes spontaneously or via a switch controlled by the child. In this way, the child learns colors, space and cause-and-effect relationships.

A pool with balls that gives the possibility of receiving sensory stimuli throughout the body and is an indispensable element in cabinets for sensory integration.

A vibrating musical chair that is soft and has a speaker. This armchair provides multiple stimulation because sitting on it, the user's body receives vibrations in rhythm, listens to music and has a sensory experience.

A trampoline with a holder that is also suitable for very young children. It is used in sensory integration cabinets as an excellent source of stimulation of the vestibular system.

Various therapeutic swings are an indispensable element of the cabinet for sensory integration. They are used to stimulate the vestibular system, and their appearance depends on the needs and difficulties of the user of the cabinet.

Weighted vests are used in sensory integration cabinets and Snoezelen rooms to provide users with good proprioceptive stimulation. Their weight is 10 percent of the user's weight.

The climbing wall, as well as the slopes of the species levels, are frequent and important elements in sensory integration cabinets.

Who can the sensory room help?

The sensory room can best help people with:

In our region, sensory rooms are most often used in working with children with disabilities (usually cabinets for sensory integration), and in Western countries they are often used in homes for the elderly and infirm (Snoezelen rooms).

What does the sensory room enable?

The sensory room allows the child to learn and progress through play in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. The child becomes freer and more open and more easily accepts different and more appropriate ways of behaving and appropriate reactions.

Here, the therapist can use different fun activities that present a constant challenge to the child (but which the child can successfully master). Thus, over time, the child's behavior begins to manifest itself outside the room (eg at home, at school and in other environments). That is why the support of parents is important in addition to therapists.

After the installation of the room, E-glas also provides education on the use of the sensory room (depending on the specific needs of the institution) and on the maintenance of the equipment.

See how we helped the 5th elementary school in Bjelovar in equipping the sensory room.

Sensory room in Pećine elementary school (Rijeka) in the Department for visually impaired children.

What is the price of furnishing a sensory room?

The price of furnishing a sensory room depends on the amount of elements in the room. The price is formed after determining the needs of the institution, center or home.

We also provide the option of (gradual) upgrading of the sensory room according to needs and (current) possibilities. If you want a sensory room, but are currently unable to fully equip it, feel free to contact us and we will advise you on which elements you can start with in furnishing your sensory room.

We offer consultation and 3D design of the sensory room FREE of charge and without obligation.

How to get to the sensory room?

E-Glas will guide you through the entire process from the beginning to the final realization and provide answers to all your questions. We provide a sensory room for both legal and physical persons.

PS Have you watched the video "How to a sensory room in 7 steps" and want to immediately solve the first and second steps (which are described in the video)? All you need to do is click on "Request a quote", then fill out our form and we will contact you.

Solve the first and second steps today! Click on "Request an offer", then fill out the form and we will contact you.

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