Applications of Multi Sensory Therapy
Multi sensory therapy has a vast range of applications, not only for sufferers of sensory impairment and learning difficulties but for the healthcare and education sectors in general. From the management of psychological and behavioural disorders in healthcare facilities to the promotion of learning and play in schools and nurseries, the multi sensory approach offers up a wealth of opportunity across virtually all areas of health, learning and development.
Multi Sensory Therapy for Specific Abilities
Multi sensory therapy can benefit individuals with the following conditions and abilities:
- Asperger’s syndrome (ASP)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Autism (AUT)
- Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy (CP)
- Down syndrome (Downs)
- Dyspraxia (DCD)
- Emotional and behavioural disorder (EBD)
- Epilepsy (EPI)
- Moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
- Physical difficulties (PHY DIFF)
- Profound and multiple learning difficulties
- Psychological disorders
- Sensory processing disorder (SPD)
- Severe learning difficulties (SLD)
- Visual impairment (VI)
Applications for Health and Social Care
Multi sensory therapy has a diverse range of applications across many different areas of health and social care, including nursing homes, care homes, hospices, health centres, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, social work facilities, counselling practices and prisons.
The multi sensory approach can help nurture relationships between staff and patients, increasing morale and helping each to better understand the other – even outside the multi sensory environment. Patients with behavioural problems are left feeling happier, more relaxed and more aware of their environment, as well as being better able to communicate their thoughts effectively and appropriately.
Levels of physical pain, depression and disability of functioning (e.g. psychosocial, sleep) are reduced, along with feelings of boredom, anxiety and sadness.
Multi Sensory Teaching and Learning
The vast majority of teaching is done through auditory and visual stimulation. For children with auditory and/or visual impairments, this can severely restrict learning and development.
Multi sensory teaching can help children with learning differences, such as difficulties in learning to read, by engaging them on multiple levels. They can also enable teachers in both mainstream and special schools to accommodate different learning styles.
Multi sensory learning techniques range from standard practices to new and creative approaches, for example:
- Visual: representing concepts through text and/or pictures on paper, posters, flash cards etc.
- Auditory: listening to teachers, peers and audio books
- Tactile: using small materials (‘manipulatives’) to represent number values and teach maths
- Kinetic: using activities such as clapping and singing to aid the understanding of concepts
If you would like to see some real life examples demonstrating how multi sensory therapy can benefit children and adults, read these case studies.