The SNOEZELEN center at Orange Grove in Chattanooga, TN
SNOEZELEN® works. But, how and why?!
A new research project will help provide some answers. Orange Grove, a community provider of comprehensive services for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities and developmental delays based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is teaming with the Research Consortium at the University of Tennessee. Their mission is to gather essential data that moves beyond anecdotal documentation towards hard-core data that solidifies and substantiates the therapy benefits of SNOEZELEN.
Sensory integration at the forefront
For most people, effective sensory processing and sensory integration occur automatically. But for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities and developmental delays, sensory integration is a real challenge. To address these issues and to establish a proper foundation for learning, Orange Grove partnered with FlagHouse and opened the doors to its brand-new, state-of-the-art SNOEZELEN Center in spring 2005.
The SNOEZELEN Center at Orange Grove is designed to engage and stimulate students' senses and provide a method for nurturing sensory integration. And it's working!
During the past eight months, the SNOEZELEN Center has produced exciting anecdotal results. A young man with pronounced autism who had previously demonstrated profoundly limited social and verbal skills is now more engaged with his peers and verbalizing. For this student, SNOEZELEN was a turning point!
Another adolescent with acute mental and physical challenges had always been hypersensitive to tactile sensations, often recoiling when touching certain objects. The teacher was awestruck as she watched this student relax and make flat-handed, full-surface contact with a key piece of equipment. Another SNOEZELEN breakthrough!
The how's & why's of SNOEZELEN
It is time to gather essential data. Through their partnership with the University of Tennessee, the SNOEZELEN Center at Orange Grove is becoming a living research laboratory with a focus on documenting the physiological reaction that their students have to SNOEZELEN.
According to Dr. Rick Rader, Director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center and research coordinator at Orange Grove, “High on the research agenda is the actual measured physiological response to various sensory scenarios. As we progress with the design of various research projects we will strive to employ a multitude of established parameters that will hopefully lead to the use of the SNOEZELEN Multi-Sensory Environment as a stabilizing feature in the educational milieu.”
Every step of the way
FlagHouse applauds Orange Grove for seeking the scientific reasons behind the milestones. We believe that this research opportunity will help qualify and quantify the ability of SNOEZELEN to provide a highly motivating sensory environment in an education setting to further the skills of a wide range of individuals with special needs. FlagHouse feels deeply privileged to have been a part of the SNOEZELEN Center at Orange Grove.
For more information on SNOEZELEN MSE and how it can benefit the population you serve, please contact us.