Sensory room is ideal for people with autism

December 10, 2009 10:04:57 AM PST
In the late 1970s, two Dutch Therapists developed a sensory tent filled with a variety of items that are used to stimulate people with autism. Last year, Seguin Services in Cicero created their own sensory room. The Snoezelen room at Seguin Services is visually active and physically relaxing. The most amazing thing about this room is the cost: $75,000.

  • A light show featuring bubble tubes that change colors.
  • A vibro chair with relaxing music playing through it.
  • Images on a floor mat with different activities that can be played by the participants.

"Our people usually spend 20 minutes in the room, 20 minutes at a time, and the ideal situation is with one person with a disability and one person guiding them through different activities," said Lori Oppiela, vice president of Seguin Works.

"People with autism, people with dementia, it allows them to interact with their environment, and it allows them to interact with their environment. And it's a lot of stimulations, whether it's through your senses, visual , tactile, auditory, it allows people to interactively control their environment."

This is not the only Snoezelen room in Illinois.

"We actually remodeled out room after a school out in the South Suburbs," said Oppiela, "and there's also an organization that is out in the Rockford area."

The Snoezelen room is named for Pat Parker's husband. Their son Dan is deaf and blind and has been part of Seguin Services for 12 years. The Snoezelen room has been a godsend.

"Because my son really relaxes here, you can even tell he doesn't speak. He communicates very clearly that this is the place that he likes to be," said Parker.

"I have had a lot of staff say that they would like to come in here and take a snooze in here, but haven't had anybody hiding out that I know of," said Oppiela.

The success of people who have spend time in a Snoezelen room has been positive.

For more information go to www.seguin.org.


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