What if your everyday senses, the sensations of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound caused you discomfort, even pain; what if your senses turned on you?
At Chileda, many of our students have unique sensory needs. We work with students who have autistic and cognitive challenges and extraordinary behavioral needs. Sitting in a classroom can be an enormous challenge as even innocuous details such as the tag on a piece of clothing, or a conversation going on next to them, can derail our students’ days. We encourage frequent breaks to get away from the stimuli that is overloading or underwhelming them, but where can they find a reprieve? We already offer chairs that allow for sensory movement, designated locations for students and staff to talk, noise cancelling headphones and we train our staff to be cognizant of our students’ needs, but what we don’t have is a closed environment that allows for sensory integration.A Snoezelen Room is an interactive sensory room that can provide calming sensory integration.
Many of our students, when dysregulated, engage in self-injurious behaviors, property destruction and aggression. These are heartbreaking behaviors to endure for the students themselves, their parents and guardians and the staff at Chileda, mostly because the students cannot control their behaviors. Many of these behaviors come about because of sensory challenges. So what can be done to help them? While there is no surefire answer to this question, a Snoezelen Room can help many of our students to regulate before engaging in self-destructive behaviors.
For many of our students, the world around them is assaulting their senses and they don’t know how to cope with this. But imagine being able to walk into a room and as the door shuts, the sights, sounds and smells of the outside world are kept at bay.
Ahead there is a bubble tube, but it’s not like any other bubble tube you may have seen. From floor to ceiling, changing colors and different shapes swim through the tube, creating a calming effect. The tube itself, begging to be touched, sends vibratory sensations through the user as they make contact with it and it returns tactile stimulation. There is an interactive bean bag chair on the floor while on the walls, now on the floor, projectors shine images and colors throughout the room. The entire room is interactive, yet calming, a sheltered place to regulate the senses and gain a measure of control. The user emerges regulated and safe, the best version of their best self.
We are asking for donations to help fund this room and make it a reality for our students. Many of our students cannot advocate for themselves and that is where all of us, as Chileda staff, step up to make sure we are providing the highest possible level of care so our students enjoy an improved quality of life. Our students have been asking for this room for a long time, maybe not with their words, but certainly with their actions. Our Snoezelen Room will be custom designed for our unique students and we need your help to make our dream a reality.
Your support means everything to our students and staff. You can help with a donation online, you can stop in at 1825 Victory St. La Crosse, WI to make a donation in person, or simply share our gofundme link on your Facebook timeline. We will be updating regularly throughout the campaign, construction and implementation process so that you can see how your donation and support is helping us change lives. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, the students, and staff of Chileda.