A sensory room can be a place of respite, learning and serenity for children who have special needs such as sensory processing disorder (SPD), autism or Asperger’s. As a parent, building a sensory room within your home is a great way to create a safe and controlled space where your child can continue to develop their social and emotional skills while having to spend more time at home this summer.
The best sensory spaces are the ones that cater to the individual sensory needs of your child. This is one of the main benefits of creating a sensory space in your own house since you can personalise every aspect to cater to your child’s individuals requirements.
Before designing the sensory space, try and think about what you want to achieve with the room. Every individual is different, and the sensory room you create will reflect this. It’s worth remembering that it’s quite rare for an individual with SPD or autism to struggle with just one area. You can cater to all their different needs however by creating a multisensory room with a range of sensory objects and items to target movement, learning, tactile experiences and calming down.
The key element is to aim for a balance between the right amount of stimulation that will assist the development and overload that will hinder development. The best way to achieve this balance is to work with your child. Pay attention to which items your child gravitates towards and their responses and whether they achieved the desired effect, whether that’s increased engagement, curiosity, problem-solving or calming your child down.
Choose a few sensory objects for your child and leave these out in the room and store the rest in storage boxes or bins. Every few weeks swap out the items in your sensory room for different ones, as this will prevent your child from getting bored.