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How to Create a Sensory Friendly Space in Your Home

Sensory rooms can make a big difference in a child’s development. Unfortunately, many families with loved ones who could benefit from a dedicated sensory room often don’t feel they have the space or budget to create one. Not so! Creating an effective sensory space doesn’t have to be expensive or require an entire room of your house. Just take a look at the following tips to help you build a sensory area that fits your budget.

Consider the needs of your child

The first step in planning any sensory space begins with the kiddo who’ll be using it. Every child is unique, and the sensory space you make for them should be as well. Take note of some of the toys, therapy items and sensory activities your child enjoys during his or her sessions. If your child likes working with certain items or performing certain tasks, it might be best to find similar items that meet with your budget. Ask your therapist about what your loved one likes working on or with, then research options based on those findings.

Carving out some space

A term like “sensory room” can be a little intimating and even discouraging, especially when you don’t have an entire room of your home available to set one up. Don’t get down, though. Smaller sensory areas can be just as effective as larger ones. Think about the space you do have to offer rather than what you don’t and how you might individualize that area for your child. Is there a way to rearrange the furniture in a room to create a sensory-focused corner? Maybe there’s a closet in your home that you can convert the area in and around to build out a sensory nook. Open your mind to the possibilities hidden around you. After all, sensory spaces are great places for imagination. This is a chance to use yours!

Low-cost solutions, high-quality experiences

Now that you have an idea of the size of the space and some sensory item ideas, it’s time for the tough part: figuring out how to make it work with your limited budget. Before you take a hammer to your piggy bank, take some time to look at your wish list and think about alternatives:
– A thrift shop portable CD or cheap mp3 player and some laptop speakers can work just as well as a brand-new stereo. Aging computers that have become too slow for current applications can be great for music, too, and some desktop media players feature soothing visualizations that react to whatever track is playing.
– Ball pits are popular sensory items, but they can be way pricey. An inflatable pool with high walls can work well and won’t cost much to replace if it gets damaged.
– While some sensory rooms feature swings and trampolines to promote vestibular stimulation, a more cost-effective solution could be a rocking chair or exercise ball.
– Don’t be afraid to get a little DIY with some items. Building you own sensory boards or blocks, sensory table or sand and water tubes can be a fun weekend project and save you a decent bit of cash. Hanging strands of old Mardi Gras beads or textured ribbons is a great idea, too!
– Use twinkling Christmas lights, LED net-lighting or lava lamps to add an inexpensive glow to your sensory area. A re-purposed electric color wheel typically used for old aluminum Christmas trees can add some soothing color change to the room as well.
– If you choose to portion off a bit of another room, consider buying some cheap, solid color fabric and hanging it like a curtain around the area. Giving the kiddo a little privacy and making them feel like it’s their space could do wonders for their confidence.
Also, don’t forget to mine the Internet for ideas. Pinterest in particular can be a good place for seeking out sensory room inspiration when you’re looking for affordable solutions for your new space.

Check out some funding options

You’re bound to run into an expensive item or two that could make the perfect addition to your sensory space that just can’t bring yourself to compromise on. That’s why you should take a little time to research special needs organizations and charities that assist with funding certain types of adaptive and special needs equipment.
Just don’t let the idea of not having those items keep you from creating your space. Remember: building a sensory room is a process. Starting small will allow the sensory space you create to grow and evolve with your child’s needs. It can also be a great way to learn what items provide your loved one maximum benefit and what items to donate to another family.

Make room for sensory needs

If you have questions about your sensory area project and some of the items you might want to put in it, we’ll give you a hand no matter what your budget looks like!

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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