The Snoezelen is a multi-sensory stimulation room. An intrinsic part of the therapeutic environment, it combines relaxation with physical and mental stimulations. The unique space is designed to stimulate all the child's senses and encourage him to explore his environment through equipment that activates motion, scent, touch, hearing and sight. "The advantage of this room lies in the many stimulation devices that can be controlled in intensity. The apparatuses offer optimum opportunity for targeted - albeit unmediated - connections." (Shapira, 2002)
Objectives of the treatment include:
• Balancing relaxation and activity
• Improving senso-motor functions: Raising/lowering tonus, physical balance, separating movement, etc.
• Improving language and communication skills
• Fostering unconditional containment and acceptance
• Improving social skills
Alongside its central purpose, the Snoezelen also serves as a platform for alleviating stress among family members. Via this multi-purpose environment, close encounters can occur among all those who participate in the therapy. While working on the toddler's developmental components, the mother often undergoes a process that provides her with restfulness and relaxation. Additionally, this environment encourages communication. For many mothers, Snoezelen has become a sheltered place where they can speak openly and clarify disturbing issues they encounter daily while adapting to their new and unfamiliar situation as mothers of children with special needs.
The special design provides a feeling of security, induces calm and provides an excellent setting for concentrated therapy.