Six benefits of sensory rooms

A sensory room is a specially designed, safe space that provides children and people affected with autism with the right environment that helps stimulate their neural development. For many people, sensory development is, mostly, fully achieved by the age of 5. However, children under this age bracket have a difficult time managing their sensory information. They may need these types of safe spaces to help them get acquainted with and manage such sensory information.

These rooms are also great for individuals diagnosed with any form of autism that may hinder their ability to perceive and process sensory information.

Benefits of having a sensory room

Sensory rooms have been around since the 1970s in the Netherlands, and they were known as Snoezelen. Aptus Treatment Centre for Adults and Children with Complex Disabilities and many other institutions found out through studies that adults with autism and children, by extension, can significantly benefit from an environment that offers regulated and integrated sensory inputs.

Setting aside a playroom for your kid is great. However, you could also design it in such a way that your child gets to learn critical cognitive abilities while having fun at the same time. Doing this will put them one step ahead of their peers and, at the same time, make it a pleasurable everyday experience. Here are some of the benefits of having a sensory room as your child’s play area.

1. Sensory rooms are calming

Noise pollution is a huge deal, especially if you live around cities. Sometimes the noise you encounter in your daily routine can be overwhelming, making you wish you got a few hours of quiet to get your thoughts in order. This experience is multiplied tenfold when it comes to your child.

Children find it very difficult to process all this information at once and, as a result, become quite agitated in this type of environment. Providing them with a safe space with soft lighting and proper ventilation can keep them calm and concentrate more on playing and problem-solving skills.

TIP: Soundproof your sensory space to keep out any loud noises that may scare your child.

2. They are stimulating

While most adults have learned to tune their attention to these sensory inputs as they need them, children can’t because they haven’t learned how to. You could incorporate a few items in your sensory room, such as toys that they can play with and colourful, stimulating lighting patterns that can help them explore the world around them.

TIP: Have enough sensory-stimulating toys in your child’s sensory room to encourage them to play and keep them occupied.

It can improve your child’s focus

Many children are hyperactive and can find it difficult concentrating on one task over an extended period, which is also true for autistic individuals. Setting aside a sensory space for children will help them learn how to interact with the environment, which will equip them with skills to help them in real-life situations.

TIP: Guide your children while they play and help them stay focused until they complete tasks.

3. Improve socialisation skills

Sensory areas can be great places for children to interact, socialise, and bond. They provide a free environment where children can run around and play safely with other children while bonding.

Given the right tools, this can help them improve their motor skills, verbal skills, hand-to-eye coordination, and many other skills that will help them become healthier both physically and mentally.

TIP: It’s a great bonding opportunity for parents with one or more children. Playing with them will help you learn what they do and don’t like.

4. Help in cognitive development

Sensory spaces expose your child to cognitively-stimulating experiences that help them process sensory inputs from the environment and learn how to react to them. Acquiring these skills will help them explore and learn about cause and effect and how their actions affect the environment.

TIP: Include pieces that your child can use to play cognitive games to improve their cognitive understanding.

5. Motor skills development

Muscle development can be a significant challenge for people with sensory problems. Providing a safe space where they can practice balancing through jumping, bouncing, and being stable can be useful for their development.

TIP: Help your child develop motor skills by encouraging them to perform simple exercises such as running.

Conclusion

Your child’s sensory system is very delicate. It helps them learn and sort out critical sensory data to better relate to their environment. Providing them with access to a controlled sensory area will help them have fun safely and learn how to manage their sensory skills when they get out into the real world.

About the author:

Ava Wadaby is a contributing writer for Autism Parenting Magazine. She researches and writes about autism as she works to understand the challenges of her son who was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. She also regularly conducts activities with children in her neighbourhood, focusing on their learning and development.

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