Have you ever heard of a Snoezelen Room? They are wonderful, magical places.
While the word sounds like something you would find in a Doctor Seuss book, it’s actually a combination of the Dutch words “snuffelen” (to explore) and “doezelen” (to doze). Snoezelen rooms provide multi-sensory therapy for people with autism and other developmental disabilities – and have even been shown to benefit seniors with dementia and Alzheimers.
Mary Cariola Children’s Center has its own Snoezelen room (generously sponsored by the Ronald MacDonald charities) with music, bubble tubes, fiber optics, a projector, a swing, and even a black light room. It’s a fantastic place to take the kids when they (or the teachers!) are getting overstimulated and need some help chilling. In my experience, the room also helps to pull the kids out of their own worlds and a little farther into ours by providing motivation and allowing easier concentration.
To provide a full sensory experience, Snoezelen rooms may also have tactile stations such as ball pits and vibrating mats. For olfactory(smell) and gustatory (taste), teachers and therapists may also provide aromatherapy objects or even easy-to-eat foods. No matter what options are presented, the room is entirely client centered experience. Individuals are allowed to choose where to go and what to do with no demand situations, and an opportunity to relax and let their best selves shine through.
In conclusion, will I be building a Snoezelen room for my future home? Absolutely.