As a family and as an organization we were extremely excited when the GoAbroad Foundation granted us a grant for the creation of a sensory room in our home. A sensory room had always been a dream project, another means of helping our children to achieve independence in their lives. Yet as in all things, the idea and the practical implementation are not the same. We have thoroughly enjoyed creating the sensory room and beginning to explore how to implement it with each of our kids.
The room designated for the sensory room was small and of challenging dimensions to begin with, but the first part of the process was to create the canvas from which we would build a new therapeutic environment. Even choosing the colors for the room was quite the process. We needed a light color in order to get the best effect of the lighting features that would be added and also for the sensory projector, but in our research we also discovered many ideas that utilized a dark environment. Ultimately we opted for a very light blue with one dark contrasting wall for prominent sensory features.
From there, Po Boonmee worked on shelving and flooring for the new room. He also searched for a way to safely hang a hammock swing in the room. We needed the room to physically accessible to all of our children but also to be safe, secure, and contribute to the sensory experience. While he measured and brainstormed that problem we developed activities and centers that would be placed within the room. The kids even had fun participating in some of the activities!
Once all that was completed we were able to place everything inside the room and begin implementing it slowly. Because each child is different and their sensory needs are not only unique to them but can also be hard to predict or interpret, we began a purposeful process of individual exploration in the room. We are able to present kids with different activities or settings in the environment, but more than that we try to follow their lead and find out what they seek out in the room. Our sensory room is not yet complete, neither in its construction or in its implementation, but we are on the journey of listening and learning what works best for each of our kids and how we can use this room in the context of daily life to meet their sensory needs and empower them to their full potential.