May 09, 2013 – Allegany Arc is proud to announce the addition of a Multisensory room to its day-habilitation program. They recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony/opening reception to celebrate this achievement.
The Multi Sensory Environment (MSE) can stimulate or relax people through the use of touch, sound, vibration, color and/or light – effective in reducing stress and improving concentration, eye-hand coordination and motor function for individuals with special needs, developmental disabilities, mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, chronic pain, stroke, brain injuries, dementia and other conditions.
MSEs are designed to promote neurological activity and to encourage relaxation. A MSE is a dedicated space or room where sensory stimulation can be controlled (intensified or reduced), presented in isolation or combination, packaged for active or passive interactions, and matched to fit the perceived motivation, interests, and/or educational needs of the user.
In the room, Day Hab staff will teach/assist the program’s participants with sensory techniques to assist them to modulate to their level of arousal enhancing their ability to improve functional life tasks and enhancing their quality of life. The multi-sensory experience or stimulation of senses through the design provides tactile awareness, vestibular and proprioceptive motor planning, and visual and auditory stimulation. For example, an individual exhibiting oral motor or sensory issues would require the integration of the tactile and proprioceptive senses to be able to execute the various sounds required for speech production. Another example would be an individual diagnosed with severe Cerebral Palsy having tight contracted muscles. Individuals with contracted muscles relax during multi-sensory experiences which therapeutically increase range of motion.
Erin Baldwin, Allegany Arc’s Speech and Language Pathologist, said of this room, “this will stimulate all of the senses to organize an individual’s brain and improve functional activity. A basic human need essential for life and survival is sensory stimulation – this room provides just that.”
Michelle Parris, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, added, “We have been working diligently to implement a sensory environment that will assist in stimulating all of the senses for the majority of individuals we serve. We are so excited to finally have what we need in the multisensory room.”
Allegany Arc received grants from The Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation whose mission is to enrich the lives, health, and social well-being of people who are neurologically challenged through the use of multi sensory stimulation. They also received grants from Thomas F. & Laura L. Moogan Family Foundation Ltd. and Allegany County Area Foundation.
Allegany Arc is incredibly thankful for these agencies to assist in bringing such a necessary room to our agency.