For Jordan Soucie and her two-year-old son Edmond, going to the hospital or doctor’s office is typically a traumatic experience. “He has white coat syndrome, so the moment we walk into any sort of hospital he is freaking out, his anxiety is through the roof, a lot of crying. This time when we walked in, it was a whole other story,” said Soucie.
When Edmond came to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, child life specialist Kristin Brown brought him to a sensory room. “It was nothing like it normally is, because he had plenty of distractions, whether it was the fiber optic lights you have hanging from the ceiling to all the light up toys that Kristin brought in the room too that are sensory friendly, it was just a lifesaver, and it made it a lot less stressful,” Soucie said.
Equipped with music, voice-activated lights, mirrors, and a blue rocking chair—sensory rooms are designed for children with special needs—to keep them calm and distracted in the hospital. “We can come in with kids on the autism spectrum, kids with sensory integration issues, even kids with just severe anxiety,” said Kristin Brown, a child life advocate with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Sensory rooms are popping up on all floors of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “That makes their visit 20 times better and 20 times more effective for them and their family,” said Brown.
Now, Jordan and Edmond look forward to his medical visits. “We’re literally switching all of his doctors and specialists; we are now switching to here because I don’t want to go anywhere else now,” Soucie said.
Making a scary experience a little more enjoyable for patients and families.
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