Hospital Sensory Rooms for Kids: April 21, 2019
Filled with colors, bright lights, mirrors, toys, and a rocking chair, the new sensory rooms are popping up on every floor of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “It’s not a typical patient room. We have our vibrating acoustic chair, which I think is probably one of my favorite features of the room because no kid is going to be afraid of a blue rocking chair. What this does is it rocks back and forth but you Bluetooth it to an iPad, phone or a CD player, and it will play the music and then vibrate to the beat of the music,” explained Kristen Brown, a child life specialist with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
The sensory room is designed to calm and distract children with special needs like autism, Down syndrome, sensory integration, even anxiety. “The goal is to have something that addresses each sensory modality. So we have our fiber optic lights that hang from the ceiling, so you hit different senses with that,” said Brown.
In addition to keeping kids calm, the room is also set up to encourage play and cognitive development. “Kids can push either the buttons on the control to change the color so not only are they in control of something, but they can also pick their favorite colors. We also have the yellow squishy ball which activates the tube, turns it on and off. So not only are the playing they are learning cause and effect,” she said.
From slide shows to voice-activated lights; each part of the room was created to keep kids at ease in the hospital. “We’re here for kids who need just that little bit of extra help,” Brown said.
Turning what could be a scary experience into a moment of fun.