Snoezelen

The Snoezelen is a therapy room. The room includes mattresses, lights, sensations and sounds. Through multi-senses stimulation that is tailored according to the will, need and ability of each child, it is possible to influence different developmental fields.

The Snoezelen treatment helps to increase the level of attention and concentration, to encourage communication, to improve movement, to regulate senses and more. A multi-senses environment (seeing, hearing, feeling, balance), acts as a place that balances between activity and relaxation. The design of the room is characterized by a calm atmosphere, soft comfort, dim lighting, appropriate music and different visual aids that can be used according to the patient’s reactions.

Treatment of visually impaired children requires adjustment and paying attention to these children’s unique challenges:

  • The new environment might be intimidating for the visually impaired or blind child and therefore there is a need to allow time for adjustment to the new environment in order to prevent fear of staying in the room.
  • Without the sight, there is a need to use the other senses in order to encourage exploration and to combine them with visual stimulation.
  • The therapist needs to mirror whatever is happening in the room and the child’s activity, combined with other senses. For example: he needs to say out loud whatever is going on so the child will understand that moving his hands and meeting one of the devices, created the noise.
  • In order to increase the confidence and to enable orientation and investigation, the therapist needs to present to the child with the different means in the room in an orderly and constant manner and place them in a permanent place.
  • The therapist needs to adjust the lighting to each child, in order to ensure maximum use of remaining sight (lights in a dark room, objects that are not lighted in appropriate lighting, avoiding blinding lights etc.).

In addition, during therapy, the therapist needs to refer to additional features of the visually impairment:

1)     Preferring a certain color and shape – especially when presenting the child with a new object.

2)     Movement: the equipment lighted with Snoezelen is usually in motion (for instance, the bubble pole). This is a device that could definitely help with focusing the sight of children with CVI.

3)     Delay: The therapist should enable enough time for the child to focus on the lighted objects.

4)     Field of vision and farsightedness: the therapist should locate the lights in the child’s preferred field of vision and at a suitable distance.

5)     Children with complex problems: sometimes there is a need for special adjustment of the room itself:

–        Turning off the central lights in the room (instead of “dim” lights).

–        Limiting the amount of lights in the room.

–        Limiting additional stimulation while presenting a lighted object. It is also important to create the awareness to the hand-eye coordination difficulty.

–        Matching the general color of the room: maybe turning in from white to black. If this is not possible, it’s recommended that the therapist dresses in black or uses a different black background.

6)     Staring at light: the therapist should present single lights or focusing on other senses channels.

The treatment in the room is performed by trained therapist. In Jerusalem the therapist is Ms. Dalia Yalin, a special education teacher who has been working at ELIYA since 2002 as a kindergarten teacher at the daycare, and has been qualified as a Snoezelen therapist.

 

 

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