Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Here at Super Calm Sensory Products our aim is to educate parents, carers, teachers and children on neurodiversity and the impact it can have on the person caring for the child with a neurodiverse difference. We aim to increase understanding on what is happening in the body of a neurologically different person resulting in greater empathy in understanding certain behaviours. By developing sensory diets and activities aimed towards their specific sensory needs the child should reach optimum levels of arousal to allow them to be present during school and home life.
Someone who has neurologically diverse differences may react differently to others around sensory stimuli and other environmental factors. The overall goal is to promote understanding and increase empathy resulting in a more harmonious environment for all.
Sensory rooms are becoming more and more popular as time goes on. These are becoming more prevalent in homes, schools and OT clinics. The aim of sensory rooms is to provide a safe space for people with Autism or other Sensory Processing Disorders to organize, calm and relax. They can also receive sensory inputs from sensory rooms which helps to balance out their body and most importantly regulate their emotions.
For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder to carry out daily activities in a successful manner they must have an optimum level of arousal. For some children this may require sensory inputs and for others this may require a calming, safe place.
The individual child's sensory diet should be studied to see what inputs they are seeking. The overall aim is to regulate the body of the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder so adjustments may have to be made in order to best suit the individual need.
Another aim of sensory rooms is to provide a safe space to de-escalate when a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder is in a panic/anxious moment. This can aid the normal daily activities of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder as they will be regulated in their body and more able to operate at an optimal level of arousal for the day.
Sensory seekers may require a more interactive sensory room with toys and activities that will allow them to crash/jump/bite.
Sensory rooms should have facilities that allow the child to move, feel pressure and experience quietness.
1. Weighted blanket/Lap pad.
This can provide a sense of grounding for children,
this helps by giving a proprioceptive input to a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder which balances their levels of arousal.
Click the picture below to see a range of weighted blankets available.
2. Sensory swing.
A swing is a great way to give your child vestibular input,
which oftentimes can provide calm, as well as help your child learn where their body ends.
Click the picture below to see a range of sensory swings available.
3. Sensory Lighting.
Having some sort of lighting that differs from everyday lighting
can provide relief and also entertainment.
Click the picture below to see a range of sensory lighting available.
4. Sensory seating.
This could be a bean bag, a wiggle chair, a hug chair. All of these can provide your child with tactile, visual, proprioceptive and vestibular inputs.
Click the picture below to see a range of seating available.
5. Body socks.
Fun tool used to increase the child's awareness of their body. (Proprioceptive input).
Click the picture below to see a sample of a body sock available.
Benefits of a sensory room.
People with sensory and other cognitive and physical disabilities often feel empowered when controlling the environment around them. A sensory room allows users to use whatever piece of equipment they need at the time.
For example, a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder may become over stimulated around a lot of noise, so going into a sensory room will allow them to seek inputs that will relax them and alleviate anxiety.
There are a variety of sensory rooms that are available, each with slightly different elements.
1. A Sensory Modulation room is a space in which people with Autism Spectrum DIsorder/Sensory Processing Disorder go when experiencing a sensory meltdown, panic, or are in a crisis situation. Providing a safe place to de-escalate and become calm when chemically induced reactions appear. These type of sensory rooms may include items such as weighted blankets, fidgets and bubble tubes.
2. A Sensory Integration room is a space where OT's conduct therapeutic activities for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder. These may include crash mats, scooters and playground equipment.
3. Snoezelen rooms were created in Holland and they are ultimately designed for the child to be in control, the child will decide what activities they wish to partake in.
Often people are worried that they may not have the budget to create sensory rooms. Sensory rooms do not have to break the bank there are cheap alternatives to creating these safe spaces. The following are suggestions for people to DIY their own sensory spaces, attached is a link to another helpful blog post which discusses this topic.