Sensory Room Design


TFH Sensory Room Benefits and Features



TFH multi-sensory rooms are known to produce a wide range of positive results for all ages and abilities, including those who are neurodiverse and neurotypical and are struggling with cognitive, emotional and physical challenges. Multi-sensory rooms provide dedicated, flexible spaces where individuals experience a range of visual, auditory, olfactory, vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile stimuli.

 

These rooms are designed to create a feeling of comfort and safety where the individual can relax, explore and enjoy their surroundings.

 

They vary in their appearance and in the equipment they contain and are designed to meet the needs of a particular client group. Typically, the rooms are painted white or a pastel shade which optimizes the effects of the projected light and have blacked out windows to exclude extraneous light. Ceiling lighting in the room is dimmed to allow for a separation from normal daily activities and routines and to allow focus to be transferred to the equipment in the room.


Check out our MSE Design Brochure!


Equipment Commonly Used in Multi-Sensory Rooms

  • Bubble tubes - Providing visual, auditory and tactile sensations
  • Fiber optics sprays - Offering long, pleasing tactile strands that change color and can be draped or held by users
  • Projectors - Displaying moving abstract and detailed images onto walls, floors, curtains, and users
  • Music systems - Playing melodies and rhythms, which is key to managing the level of arousal in the sensory room
  • Aromatherapy diffusers - Addressing the often overlooked olfactory system, essential to the sensory room process
  • Ball pools and crash pits - Providing an excellent method of proprioceptive input, whether traditional or resonance
  • Waterbeds - Providing proprioceptive input, necessary to calm or stimulate
  • Positioning furniture - Aiding in further relaxation when clients can change from constant positions to the unique shapes of our seating options
  • TFH Special Needs Toys provides a variety of options with our multi-sensory equipment. Your multi-sensory room consultant can assist you in choosing the correct equipment for your clients/students/loved ones and design a sensory room that is effective for positive outcomes.


    Start Your Sensory Room Journey Today with a Free Design Service Consultation

    Get started today with a free TFH sensory room consultation.


    FAQs on Sensory Room Design


    Is there training my staff will need for a sensory room?


    Installing a multi-sensory room will benefit staff as well as the users. TFH believes that every staff member can be quickly trained to the multi-sensory equipment safely. The benefits of the multi-sensory room depend upon the space becoming a part of the life of the facility. Within a few weeks of use, staff will begin to see improvements in the clients using the multi-sensory environment regularly.


    When were sensory rooms introduced?

    The root philosophy is that everyone is affected by their environment. This simple idea was developed during the 1970s in Holland when pioneers Ad Verheul and Jan Hulsegge successfully used music, aroma, and colored lights to improve the living conditions of residents in mental institutions. 

     

    They called this work “Snoezelen” which is translated as “to sniff” and “to doze.” In the United States, the term multi-sensory room is synonymous with Snoezelen rooms. Multi-sensory rooms were originally developed as a leisure resource for people with special needs to be both relaxing and stimulating places that offer failure-free activities where clients can choose control and explore the stimuli around them.


    How does a multi-sensory room work?

     

    Research has shown that prolonged or frequent restriction of appropriate and understandable stimulation can lead to negative psychological outcomes. Not only the amount, but also the variation of stimulation is important.

     

    Monotonous unchanging stimulation can be as negative as no stimulation at all. Physical, sensory and cognitive impairments further reduce the amount of stimulation an individual receives. Impaired cognitive ability also restricts a person’s ability to make sense of the stimulation that is received. Such deprivation can lead to negative outcomes such as anxiety, stress, depression, withdrawal and reduced motivation or agitation and disturbed behavior.

     

    Specific stimulation of the primary senses in an environment that excludes all extraneous stimulation makes perception and interpretation of those sensations easier for clients to understand and alleviates the effects of deprivation. The stimulation can then be adapted according to the individual responses, thus making the experience increasingly appropriate and positive.


    How do sensory rooms provide more opportunities?

     

    It is often difficult to find recreational activities that are enjoyable and age appropriate for people with special needs. Many conventional therapies from other fields of care are unsuitable for those with multiple physical and mental limitations because they place expectations on the client to attempt or achieve something that is potentially beyond their abilities.


    Also, people with limited sensory and psychological stimulation have a reduced degree of control and choice in their lives. Multi-sensory rooms provide the opportunity for these people to take control of their environment, in turn providing the opportunity to experience self-determination and increased self-esteem.

    Who uses multi-sensory rooms?

    A multi-sensory room is a toolkit which can be utilized in so many ways in classrooms, clinics, and at home. Anyone with sensory issues or diminished senses can benefit from time spent in a sensory room. Age is not a limiting factor.

    Our TFH multi-sensory environments have been effective in settings focused on:

     
    • Autism therapy
    • Severe/profound/pervasive developmental delay
    • Physical disabilities
    • Mental illness therapy
    • Traumatic brain injuries
    • Alzheimer’s/dementia
    • Occupational therapy
    • Behavioral health therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Special education programming
    • Learning disabilities
    • Pain control
    • Surgical recovery
    • Trauma-informed care
    • And much more!
    • Behavioral health therapy
    •  

      What types of business does TFH Special Needs Toys commonly work with?


      TFH Special Needs Toys has designed and installed over 3,000 multi-sensory rooms providing safe and stimulating spaces in a variety of settings, including for:

       
      • Homes
      • Schools
      • Hospitals
      • Nursing homes
      • Development centers
      • Mental health facilities
      • Autism programs
      • Early childhood programs
      • Day treatment programs (children and adults)
      • Group homes
      • Rehabilitation centers
      • Hospices
      • Memory care units
      • And many others!

      • What are the benefits of multi-sensory rooms?


        There is a wide array of benefits associated with multi-sensory rooms. Here are just a few:


        • Control of the environment and other events that influence the user
        • Relaxation
        • Improved concentration
        • Better social interaction
        • Increased positive mood
        • Improved hand/eye coordination
        • Development of language
        • Increased opportunity for choice
        • Development of cause and effect
        • Passive stimulation
        • Promotion of communication and sharing
        • Opportunity for human touch
        • Reduction in stereotypical self-stimulating behaviors

        • How much does a multi-sensory room cost?


          Cost for a multi-sensory room can vary depending on the size of the room and the equipment recommended for the population you serve. A typical well-equipped sensory room for a school or clinic averages around $8,000-$15,000 and with proper care can last for approximately 10 years – about the cost of a cup of coffee a day from your favorite cafe. Home installations can vary according to your budget. We have smaller-scaled equipment to suit homes, and we can work with any budget and any sized space.


          We know money for these rooms can be hard to come by and we want to help you get the most bang for your buck by recommending the appropriate equipment. Our knowledgeable consultants will work with you to design the most effective sensory room for those you work with, and one that fits your budget. We have many options to choose from.


          Are there any funding options available?


          Sensory rooms are an investment and we understand funding can be a challenge. That is why we created a list to help.

          Click here for funding resources


          What is required for installation?


          A TFH sensory room installation typically takes less than a week, and sometimes we can be in and out in a couple of days. We have an experienced installer, and your consultant can provide you with a quote for this service. However, most installations are straightforward, and many facility management personnel or handymen are able to install the equipment with our designs. We are always available to assist your installer as well.


          How do I get started with my multi-sensory room?


          Our consultation and design professionals will help you get the most from your budget and space. We have over 30 years’ experience in designing and installing multi-sensory rooms, so we know a thing or two about what needs to be considered when developing one. There may be more aspects to consider than you think, so contact us as early as possible We can pass along valuable advice to architects, builders, and especially electricians.


          TFH Special Needs Toys is dedicated to helping you create the multi-sensory room that will work effectively with your clients. Having created thousands of sensory rooms over the years, we are the leading provider worldwide!


          We offer a totally free of charge, no obligation consultation and design service where we will consult with you either in person, via the telephone or on Skype/Facetime/Zoom and discuss with you your goals, how we can help, and offer recommendations. Based on this discussion we will than draw up a scaled plan of our proposal and an itemized quotation including, if required, the installation of all the equipment.


          We also work closely with builders and architects as multi-sensory rooms need numerous electrical points. We can submit electrical plans for the room as well. However, these plans are not set in stone, and we are happy to keep working with you until you are completely happy. Once you have confirmed you want to proceed, we will arrange with you a convenient time for us to come in and install the room. When everything is installed to your satisfaction, the TFH sensory room will be ready to go, and we will then discuss how all the equipment works with your staff.


          Do you have training available?


          With the increased popularity of sensory rooms in the U.S., there are many different philosophies on how they are used, whether for relaxation or therapy. We believe there is room for both philosophies and you should have flexibility based on the population you are serving. That is why we have partnered with the cofounder of Snoezelen, Ad Verheul, the International Snoezelen Association and the American Association of Multi-Sensory Environments, to ensure that we are not only designing your sensory room to meet both of these needs, but that you have the opportunity to train with experts in the field on uses of your sensory room/space.


          We also have available a variety of educational opportunities with Dr. Anthony McCrovitz, a world-leader in sensory room education. He will conduct both online and onsite training options for your school or organization on a variety of set topics or training types that can be tailored to fit your particular circumstances.


          For information on training, contact:


          Karen Pool (karen@tfhusa.com) or 800-467-6222.


          For information on TFH Sensory Room Design, contact:


          TFH Special Needs Toys

          Tel: 800-467-6222
          Email: mse@tfhusa.com


          Reach Out to TFH Special Needs Toys Today!


          Get in touch with us, as we can help you get started on your multi-sensory room today. Call for our free, no obligation consultation at 800-467-6222 or email mse@tfhusa.com.