Using Themed Sensory Stimulation Kits - Temple University

Using Themed Sensory Stimulation Kits - Temple University

Sensory Stimulation Sensory Stimulation The sensation and input we receive by using one or all of our senses A treatment modality commonly used for individuals with moderate to severe disabilities or health conditions

Offered to all age groups and in a variety of settings Best-Martini, E., Weeks, M. & Wirth, P. (2011) Long Term Care for Activity Professionals, Social Service Professionals and Recreational Therapists, 6th Edition. Enumclaw, WA, Idyll Arbor Overall Goal To maintain and/or improve the functioning of

individuals through stimulus directed at ALL five senses. Visual Auditory Tactile Olfactory Taste Can also include sixth type of stimulation

Kinesthetic (Movement) Anticipated Outcome The improvement of the individuals perception and alertness in responding to the environment. Program Structure

Can be provided in a group setting or in individual treatment depending upon needs/alertness of client When clients meet in a group, the group should be small (typically 4-6) Sessions should be brief lasting only 15-30 minutes Recreation Therapy Consultants. (2001) The Enrichment Sensory Program. San Diego, CA, Recreation Therapy Consultants.

Program Structure Sessions should be brief lasting only 15-30 minutes Sensory Stimulation is often used for 1:1 interactions with individuals who are unable to tolerate/attend groups Commonly used with low level functioning clients (e.g., severe DD, older adults), individuals with severe brain

injury, infants/toddlers (necessary for childhood development) and to prevent sensory deprivation syndrome Recreation Therapy Consultants. (2001) The Enrichment Sensory Program. San Diego, CA, Recreation Therapy Consultants. Session Format The group leader presents a series of activities that stimulate the senses.

While occasionally focused around select senses, a comprehensive sensory stimulation session will engage all senses. Visual Activities Have client(s) look at objects or pictures Bright objects, flashing lights often arouse more response

Moving objects can be used for visual tracking Measuring Visual Responsiveness Client directed visual attention to object (for how long). Client tracked moving object with eyes.

Client attended to visual object for (period of time). Auditory Activities Sample sounds used/produced often with objects Recorded music, sounds are popular Leader can also generate sounds (or ask clients

to) Measuring auditory responsiveness Client moved foot to beat of music Client turned toward sound Client demonstrated altered affect (smile, grimace, etc.) in response to sound

Tactile Activities Clients feel objects with different textures or sensations. Often gross/fine motor activities are incorporated. Contrasting items sometimes used.

Measuring tactile responsiveness Client grasped item in R/L hand Client initiated hand movement when presented with object Client verbally commented on sensation of tactile stimuli.

Olfactory Activities (Smell) Items with distinct smell/scent are typically used Be cautious of allergies (particularly scented lotions & perfumes) Best to minimize the number of scents presented in a session (4-5 maximum) Measuring olfactory response

Client demonstrated change in facial expression when presented with stimuli (describe expressions). Client opened eyes when presented with olfactory stimulation (how long did eyes remain open). Client nodded to indicate preference of smell.

Taste Activities Typically food/drink items of different characteristics Items with distinct taste Be aware of dietary restrictions/swallowing restrictions can make more challenging Measuring response to taste activities

Client demonstrated change in affect with presented with stimuli (describe affect changes). Client made verbal comment regarding taste (include comment). Client opened mouth when asked if he wanted to taste item again. Client shared memory about taste (when

prompted? Self-initiated?). Proprioception/Kinesthetic awareness Proprioceptive functioning the ability to identify where a limb is in space without vision. Includes position (statethesia) and movement (kinesthesia) Balance or wobble boards

Rocking chairs or hammocks Juggling scarves or foam objects Yoga/tai chi Measuring responses to proprioception/kinesthetic activities Client demonstrated ability to locate limb with eyes closed.

Client demonstrated ability to identify movements therapist made with clients limb while eyes were closed. Additional Components of Sensory Stimulation Groups Leader should generate discussion at a level appropriate for the clients

While sensory stimulation can be a passive intervention, ways to actively engage the client should be explored. This will help in measuring responsiveness and documenting progress. Multisensory/Snoezelen Rooms Some facilities utilize multisensory rooms for

sensory stimulation sessions. Snoezelen rooms started in the Netherlands First used with individuals with developmental disabilities later with individuals with a variety of disabilities and health conditions Snoezelen is a made up Dutch word combining snuffelen (to seek out to explore) and doezelen (to doze to relax)

Evidence Supporting Snoezelen Therapy Research studies show that Snoezelen therapy can result in: Decreased pain in individuals with chronic pain Schofield, P. (2005). A pilot study comparing environments in which relaxation is taught: investigating the potential of Snoezelen for chronic pain management. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 4(4), 17-27 Improved balance in individuals with dementia

Klages, Zecevic, Orange & Hobson (2011). Potential of Snoezelen room multisensory stimulation to improve balance in individuals with dementia. Clinical Rehabiliirtation, 25(7). 607-616 Decreased agitation and improved cognition in children recovering from severe brain injuries Hotz, Castelblanco, Lara, Weiss, Duncan, Kuluz. (2006). Snoezelen: A controlled multi-sensory stimulation therapy for children recovering from severe brain injury. Brain Injury, 20(8), 879888.

Reduced agitation and reduced use of seclusion and restrain in psychiatric facilities Cummings, K., Grandfield, S. & Coldwell, C. (2010). Caring and comfort rooms: reducing seclusion and restraint use in psychiatric facilities. Creating Themed Sensory Stimulation Kits

Sensory themes Frequently, themed sensory stimulation groups utilize activities that are developed around a specific topic or theme. This establishes structure Facilitates client interaction Creates context for the activity

Often generates increased interest Themed kits can also be used for discussion groups, reminiscing sessions and other activities Themes for Kits Holidays Hobbies

Places/Locations Life Events Sports Anything you can think of! Creating Kits Container can be part of the kit Baby Shower: Diaper bag Pets: Animal carrier

Birthday Party: Gift Box Beach: Beach Bag Camping: Backpack Gardening: Large Flower Pot Person creating the kit can develop an instructional sheet with suggestions for use (this helps if volunteers, family members or other staff

members also use it) Think re-usable items if budget constraints exist. With creativity, it doesnt have to be expensive.

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