young boy plays in ball pit inside sensory room

September 18, 2019   

New Sensory Room in Burlington

Woodview has a new Sensory Room! The new Sensory Room was made possible by a generous legacy gift from Jeanne Durant. Thanks to Jeanne and her family, children and youth that receive mental health or autism supports, will be able to have a quiet and soothing space.

This new sensory space was developed through consultation with our Halton Autism Services team to determine the needs of the children and youth that would primarily use the space. It was important for us to select the right equipment.

The new Sensory Room features calming tools such as a sensory swing, bubble tower lights,and a ball pit, all while keeping the space still fully functional for one-to-one therapy sessions.

Maryanne Goldsmith (daughter of Jeanne Durant) with husband Harold Goldsmith

Kathy Hirsch of Avron was especially helpful in working with us on this project. Kathy loaned us a mobile sensory cart which allowed us to try out some items -such as the bubble tube and the fibre optic strands, and projector -to learn what the children in our autism programs would best enjoy and respond to. Testing proved quite useful, for example, we learned that the kiddos responded better to the bubble tube than the fibre optics and projector. Ensuring we chose the right products was key as we were working within a set budget provided by the kind donation.

The final product of our Sensory Room features:

  •           a platform swing to accommodate children and adults, it has a removable tent cover for when the individual needs a quiet and private space.
  •           gel floor tiles to create a pathway into the sensory area
  •           a bubble tube with a wireless remote for changing the colours. Children love to watch the bubbles and changing colours, it provides a calming sensory input for children
  •           an inclusive gymnastics kit that features balance stones, a roller tunnel, sound steps, muscle toners to promote movement that support social, cognitive, and emotional development.
  •           a Thera Gym Double Squeezer that applies deep pressure as the child squeezes through it, an acrylic mirror, tactile panels and textures, and stretchy body socks in a variety of sizes to provide a deep pressure touch experience that can improve focus and decrease anxiety.

What we kept: essentially a 10×10 space was converted into a Sensory Space while still keeping a small area open for table therapy. This space is for family intakes where a child might prefer to enjoy some equipment while the parent and therapeutic instructor complete the interview.

In wanting to create a sensory room within this small space, every detail needed to be well thought out to make the best use of the space. The main feature of the space is the custom shaped ball pool! The customized design allows enough room for a platform swing to hang next to it-and it looks great in Woodview’s blue and green colours.

A fan favourite is the “sky” feature: drop ceiling tiles customized with a beautiful sky and cloud pattern by a company called All In Recreation. This lovely addition to the Sensory Room truly opens up the space and the kids (and those young-at-heart) truly enjoy ‘the view.

We were delighted that Maryanne and Harold Goldsmith were able to attend and represent the late Jeanne Durant at the unveiling at our AGM on September 17th, 2019.