What is a Sensory Room?

  • 15 May 2019

A sensory room, also referred to as multisensory room or multisensory environment, is a pleasant environment, cognitive and physically accessible, specially designed for developing senses and controlling sensory stimulation. These stimuli, regulated and manageable, allow to work from a therapeutic and educative approach within the sensory, cognitive, motor, social and emotional scope, from different approaches and with multiple goals.

A multisensory room offers their users a totally immersive experience through the activation of the different elements, such as: lighting, music, objects, images, textures, sounds, vibration, etc., specially created and set for reaching specific therapeutic purposes. An example of the elements that can be found in a multisensory room could be the bubble tube, the optic fibre, the ball pit or ball pool, swings, projections, vibro-acoustic seats, among many other elements.

These rooms allow to build multisensory environments meeting every user’s needs and interests at all moments, favouring their wellness, promoting the connection, communication and motivation of the work that is being done, may that be therapeutic, educative or leisure. Sensory stimulation is optimum for the developing and improvement of cognitive, proprioceptive, emotional, physical, and social aspects mainly.

What are the benefits of a Sensory Room?

These environments are usually focused on helping its users in a therapeutic way but they are also ideal for learning, stimulation, relaxation and fun.
Some of the benefits of the sensory rooms include: promoting cognitive development, improving interaction and social skills, enhancing communication, providing relaxation, improving motor development and focus, boosting intellectual activity, stimulating the senses, enhancing learning and playing, gaining emotional well-being.

For whom are ideal the Sensory Environments?

✔ People with specific disabilities, such as cognitive disabilities, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, visual impairment, learning difficulties or others.
✔  People with physical disabilities, such as: spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, ALS, neuromuscular disorders, or similar.
Children with autism or any disorder within the ASD (Asperger, …)
Children in early years or at their early stages of development
The Elderly


What’s the difference between Snoezelen and Sensory Room?

The word Snoezelen is a contraction in Dutch of two words ‘snuffelen’ and ‘doezelen’ which mean something like ‘sniffing’ and ‘snoozing or relaxing’ respectively. Snoezelen refers to a global intervention approach that provides sensory stimuli to people in order to facilitate their sense of well-being through the stimulation or relaxation according to their needs and the therapeutic, educational or leisure objectives to meet.

Snoezelen was born from the belief that people with profound disabilities interacted with their environment in a primary way, through the senses and movement. Therefore, although the intervention in Snoezelen may be carried out in different environments and moments of the day, it became necessary to design these specific environments that we call multisensory estimation rooms (SEM), which are physically and intellectually accessible.

Thus, the first Multisensory Rooms were called Snoezelen Rooms, since were related to this concept. However, as the Multisensory Rooms proliferated, it was found out that the type of intervention Snoezelen was only one of the models that can be used in these type of rooms, but that it was possible to work with other reference models such as: Basal Stimulation®, Psychomotricity, Sensory Integration, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and many other therapeutic and / or educational approaches.

Therefore, the denomination of the Multisensory Rooms as Snoezelen Rooms, although very widespread, can be limiting. From BJLive! we are in favor of using the concept Multisensory Environments or Sensory Rooms since it seems more fair.

What is an SHX Sensory Room and how is it different?

BJLive!, specialists in the design and installation of sensory rooms, has created its own technology for multisensory environments, which goes a step further in this field by making these rooms totally interactive, customizable and more immersive than ever.

The SHX System developed by BJLive! allows every user to interact with the room and take total control of all its sensorial effects through elements like: controllers, touch panels, carpets, switches, dice, etc. A kid can throw a die or press a switch and change the whole room into something new. Besides, this system also allows the user to create customized environments with any pictures or videos or desired effects, for having infinite possibilities of interaction and always have a user-centered approach.

Where can I found a Sensory Room?

If you are interested in knowing more about multisensory environments or in visting one, contact us and we will address you to the nearest institution in your location for further help. <>


Written by:

The team at Qinera

Qinera produces assistive technology for people with disabilities with the aim of improving their autonomy and life quality. Its human team includes: occupational therapists, special education teachers, speech therapists, engineers, IT developers and experts in assistive technology.

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