Multisensory and Mental Health
Senses are a central part of our lives. They wake us up in the morning, inspire us throughout the day,...Read article
The Sensory Project creates low-cost do-it-yourself-at home Sensory Stories and provides training for settings looking to use sensory engagement. Although I focus on improvised at home resources I still love the fabulous items that can be found in multi sensory rooms. During the period of time in which I set up the project, I had the opportunity to read a lot of the research that surrounds sensory engagement. Much of what I read was about sensory rooms, and, to be frank, it was rather depressing. We have these wonderful rooms, with fantastic gadgets, and they get used in a way that does not benefit the people they are intended for, and in some situations, they are even used in ways that are harmful.
Whether you are creating a hydrogen cloud out of a handful of confetti (Birth of a Star) or setting off a projection of a galaxy (fantastic multi sensory room) the most important thing is you. The facilitator of a sensory experience, and how they facilitate that experience, is way more important than how expensive or complicated the experience is. To get the most out of your multi sensory room, or your simple do it yourself at home sensory story, you need to understand what you are doing and what can be achieved. It is this understanding that I hope to give people on my training days, but here are a few tips:
I love low cost improvised at home resources and my work at The Sensory Project provides me with a pinch-myself-am-I-dreaming work environment in which I get to experiment with experiences for sensory stories, but I recognise the huge value in a well used Multi Sensory Room and for that reason, I wrote the story Naali which is resourced with a typical Multi-Sensory Room. The story booklet that accompanies the Naali story provides a summary of the research I read when I set up the Sensory Project and more tips for successfully using sensory stories.
I wish you all many happy sensory adventures, whether at home, out and about, or in a wonderful multi-sensory room.
Written by Joanna Grace