We have sensory rooms at all three of our hospices and they are invaluable both to the care we provide and for visiting families. Many of the children and young people we work with are unable to talk or communicate so sensory rooms help to develop their communications skills. These rooms contain a variety of technology and products that can either stimulate or relax the senses depending on the individual.
One much-loved feature is the bubble tubes - which glow in different colours and are soothing to watch with calming, slow bubbles moving around a plastic tube. The tubes can be controlled by the children, giving them chance to change the colours, speed and power of the bubbles as they wish.
Our sensory rooms also feature interactive technology for the more active children and young people we care for. Floor projection technology allows children (and adults if they want to!) to interact with virtual objects from moving stars, playing games, creating music or splashing virtual water. These activities can be beneficial in building interaction and movement skills.
Other key features in our sensory rooms include:
- Music speakers - these can either stimulate or relax depending on the individual child and what they need from that session.
- Water beds which can relieve muscular pressure and provide relaxation.
- Fibre-optic cables that light up and glow in different colours, stimulating both sight and touch. They can also be used in the bath if needed!
Many of the children and young people we work with are unable to talk or communicate. Sensory activities open up a whole new world to these children that can help them develop, play and communicate in different ways. Whether it’s reacting to sound, light, touch or movement it is wonderful when you see a child reacting in a way they wouldn’t usually do. These reactions, however small are so precious to families Sarah Fisher, Play Specialist at our Norfolk hospice