What Is A Multi Sensory Room?

What Are Multi Sensory Rooms?

As the name suggests, multi sensory rooms are enclosed spaces that stimulate the senses. Through a combination of light, sound and objects, they can be used to help people, including those affected by sensory impairment and learning difficulties, to work with and even overcome physical and psychological barriers.

There are numerous different types of multi sensory room to suit different needs, from autism in children to dementia in adults. Some are not built specifically to help those with disabilities, but simply as a means of providing stimulation and entertainment, such as in children’s play areas.

Multi Sensory Design

Such a design might include any combination of multi sensory products, e.g.

  • Bubble tubes – to stimulate the sense of sight
  • Ball pool – to stimulate the sense of touch
  • Aroma diffuser – to stimulate the sense of smell

Multi sensory rooms should be as relaxing as possible in order to help participants focus, encourage exploration and promote a sense of wellbeing.

Used correctly, they can function as safe spaces in which adults and children can develop their senses and skills at their own pace. They are known to help prevent and de-escalate crises, teach new skills and promote healing and self-care, as well as contributing to the development of key life skills, such as vocalisation, gross motor skills and colour recognition.

Psychological benefits include enhanced mood, improved communication, confidence and social skills, and reduction in fear, anxiety and disruptive behaviours. More benefits of multi sensory rooms

Multi Sensory Activities

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to choosing multi sensory activities. Simply switching on all the different stimuli at once will create sensory overload which can be highly stressful and cause more harm than good.

Instead, you should aim to tailor each different multi sensory environment to the individual. Begin by assessing their responses to a few stimuli at a time, and once they have found something they can really engage with, you can build on this. As their confidence grows, they should feel increasingly empowered to make their own decisions about the stimuli that they want to experience.

Multi sensory rooms are recognised as having incredible value across several different areas of personal development, with diverse applications  ranging from special schools to prisons. You can find out more about the benefits of multi sensory environments here .