It has been awhile since I have updated you on our therapy room. I originally wrote about designing the room here. We have added some pretty cool things and the girls are loving it. Kate has therapy in this room as often as we can make it work and we even let them have free play in here (which is against the advice of some of the experts.) I guess I am getting pretty good at going against the advice of the 'experts' lately. I hope Kate will thank me for that one day.
The first new addition to the room is the mural painted by local artist Gerry Collins. Thanks Grama. He is a family friend and he painted this mural using a vintage 1920's colouring book for inspiration. We wanted it to look like a child's room but we didn't want a typical cartoon mural. We also knew better than to tell an artist what to do. We left Gerry upstairs for a few days and we were left with an absolutley priceless piece of art. Monty even appears in the painting!
Next, we added the seahorse mirror that Kate's aunt and uncle bought her. Thanks guys! The girls adore it. They love to stand in front of it and make funny faces. Kate and I can practice facial expressions and she loves to talk to herself in the mirror.
Finally, we added the pink gym mat. Thanks Grampy. One of Kate's favourite ways to stim is jumping. She could jump up and down over and over all day. (I know, I need to add one of those mini trampolines with a safety handle, right?) This mat allows her to relieve some of that sensory-seeking behavior. She can crash and roll and fall as much as she likes and she loves it. Grace, although less rough and tumble than her sister, also enjoys playing on the mat. It is great for the practical uses of physio and occupational therapy exercises but it also good for just plain old play.
If you are thinking of putting a room like this together for your child please keep in mind that Kate is primarily a sensory-seeker. She likes pressure and rough play. The room has been designed to help Kate meet sensory-seeking needs like spinning or jumping. She can, at times, be a sensory-defender. When she is feeling this way (usually a holiday or a birthday party can bring this on) I would not bring her to this room. At those times she is better served to go to her bedroom with one of us which is very calming and simply decorated with little distraction and soft lighting.
Alex and I do not claim to be experts in sensory room design but we are here if you have any questions about designing one of your own.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)