High-tech “Snoezelen Room” designed to help kids with Autism
Last week, a special room designed for children and youth with Autism and other sensory processing disorders was opened by Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (FACSFLA). And now you can see what it looks like.Called a Snoezelen Room, it encorporates a specialized and controlled environment that provides children and adults with an opportunity to “engage their senses and experience sensory exploration” through play. The Snoezelen Room’s objective is to allow them a calming environment by eliminating outside distractions and over-stimulation of their senses.
The room uses visual, audio and tactile tools to “enhance relaxation and contemplation”. The overall result is a uniquely calming atmosphere – particularly for children with certain kinds of sensory processing conditions, such as Autism.
According to the FACSFLA website:
Originally developed in the Netherlands in the 1970s, there are more than 1,200 Snoezelen Rooms worldwide. The term “Snoezelen” was created by two Dutch therapists and is derived from a contraction of two Dutch verbs: “snuffelen” – to seek out or explore and “doezelen” – to relax.
“This is a special place where children and youth can go to be themselves. That’s not always easy in our busy, sensory-rich world for kids who have Autism or other sensory disorders,” said Steve Woodman, Executive Director of Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. “This room will give them a place to think, learn new things and deal with the stress they face every day.”
Woodman was also quoted on the FACSFLA website as stating that they are “very pleased to offer this room to our many partners in the community for their use. Our clients and theirs will both benefit. We also hope that the sensory room will be used for research that will benefit the wider Autism community.”
This is the newest of just a few such rooms in the Kingston area and it was built with a $12,700 grant funded through the 2012 City of Kingston and United Way Community Investment Fund.
It is open now at the Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington office at 817 Division Street (map) and can be seen in their video embedded below (or view it on Youtube).
Read more about the Snoezelen Room on the FACSFLA webpage.