DeKalb, IL– Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association (KSRA) has been developing a Sensory Room that will be hosted by the Sycamore Park District in their Community Center. One very special addition to the Sensory Room was completed by a local Boy Scout, Ryan Mays working towards his promotion to the rank of Eagle Scout. Ryan is very familiar with KSRA, and the programs offered as his brother has attend Camp Maple Leaf for a number of years. Ryan approached the KSRA Executive Director, Dawn Schaefer, about the needs of the agency that an Eagle Scout project could accomplish. Schaefer spoke about the Sensory Room and how a sensory panel would be a wonderful addition to the room.
A Sensory Room provides a safe and enriching environment where users of all abilities and ages can enjoy a variety of activities that fully engage their senses, either passively or actively. Sensory Rooms can be used to calm and relax when an individual is overstimulated. The Room can also provide a place through the guidance of a therapist or through self-exploration a way to stimulate, develop and learn to process the world around them. The Rooms allow for the therapist to relate to the individual in a meaningful way that can be led by the individual, where therapy is an afterthought, in their mind. And when the Room is utilized as a self-exploration the individual learns how to provide themselves a calming environment, which allows them to regather and rejoin their day.
The creation of this Sensory Room has been a year of development that included writing grants for the items within the room. And a field trip with the KSRA Executive Director and a few staff from the Sycamore Park District to experience a Sensory Room located in another Special Recreation Association’s office space. The Room being developed by KSRA will include some of the following items and what the item provides within the environment. Two bubble tubes, a multi-sensory item offering visual and audible stimulation. A shimmering light curtain that hangs from the ceiling that will engulf the individual seated under which allows vary level of visual stimuli and interaction. And through this project, two wall panels which allow for interactive tactile input at different age levels. The KSRA staff continue to add to the Room which they hope to open in early 2023.
The Sensory Room will be utilized by KSRA’s full time Recreation Therapists on an appointment basis for community members. This Room will also be utilized by KSRA program participants that are in programs held in Sycamore’s Community Center when they need to take a break from the group. A full schedule of opportunities will be promoted upon the Room opening on the KSRA website and social media sites.
Schaefer stated: “We are excited to bring a Sensory Room to the KSRA families and the community we serve. With the support of the Sycamore Park District staff and the KSRA Board of Directors, our dream is one step closer to being a reality!”
For more information about Kishwaukee Special Recreation (KSRA), the Sensory Room or any of the year-round programing offered, please visit kishsra.org or call (779) 777-7285.
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