Martin County Florida
Martin County Florida
2001 South Kanner Highway
Stuart, Florida 34994
Arc of Martin County's Multi-Sensory Room Helping Children with Disabilities
Article By: Nancy McCarthy
Posted: Aug 28, 2012
STUART - Research shows that children with developmental and intellectual disabilities who experience sensory overload benefit from a controlled atmosphere free of the distractions from the outside world.
A local nonprofit organization is now providing multi-sensory therapy for children with developmental, sensory, cognitive or physical disabilities.
Advocates for the Rights of the Challenged (ARC) of Martin County recently completed construction of a state-of-the-art multisensory room used to stimulate
or relax children with special needs through the use of touch, sound, vibration, color and light.
ARC's multisensory room is unique to the area, and staff will receive specialized training as part of the program.
The room has many different features such as soft play areas, black lights, special blankets, massage chairs, manipulative toys and other interactive equipment. "Every individual's response is unique—what soothes some may irritate others," Muniz said. "The benefit of the multi-sensory room is that it can be adapted to each personality with the use of sound, lighting, and even fragrance."
When a person with special needs is placed in an atmosphere free of the distractions from the outside world, the results are incredible. The multi-sensory room can either calm or engage, depending on the unique needs of a person with a disability.
"We've seen children start out in a panic and within a matter of minutes, calm themselves down to where they are responsive to and stimulated by the room," said Muniz. "Seeing that direct and immediate progress puts what we've believed in theory into a real results perspective and just one result like that makes this project a success."
The room was constructed thanks to contributions from the Kiwanis Club of Stuart, the Florida Kiwanis Foundation and the Scripps Howard Foundation.
"We appreciate the community support. Without it we would not be able to provide many of the supports that we currently do that empower individuals with behavioral challenges to achieve their full potential," Muniz said.
For more information call the ARC office at 772-283-2525
"Controlled sensory input has been shown to be effective in reducing stress and improving concentration, eye-hand coordination and motor function for children with special needs, developmental disabilities, autism and other conditions," said ARC CEO Keith Muniz. "Our multisensory room uses the latest research on sensory therapy to provide benefits for the individuals in the program."