“Snoezelen or multisensory spaces” concept
The concept was first introduces in the 70’s by two therapists from the De Hartenberg Institute for intellectual disabilities fron the Netherlands, Jan Hulsegger and Ad Verheul. On the occasion of the annual summer fair of the institute they organized an experimental tent where there were different stimuli: dark rooms, fans with paper threads, mirrors, ink and water projected on a screen, bright lights, pools with rubber balls, hey stacks, hammocks, musical instruments, tactile objects, fragrance bottles, different foods to be tastes etc.
This tent had a huge success especially among severe patients. The sensory experience was named by the two ”Snoezelen”.
Snoezelen rooms were initially projected as a source for activities and a mean of relaxation for multisensorial affections an severe disabilities and then they started to be used as therapeutical means for a larger spectrum of affections.
A child with difficulties in interpreting senzorial experiences sees the world differently.
Children who spend a lot of time in hospitals or in their own room and have limited access to stimuli need us to bring close to them as much as possible from the outside natural world and as many new opportunities to explore as possible.
Playing with sensory toys children have access to diverse stimuli in a focused and controlled manner. Playing with sensory toys helps processing through exploration, separation and differentiation of stimuli.
The multisensory toys will ensure a large area of stimuli which will be adapted to satisty the needs of people with autism, sensory integration difficulties or multisensory deficiencies, to help them process the information surrounding them and involve them in meaningful play.