University of Edinburgh

Sensory Play and Learning

Presented on Friday, 11 March 2011

Multisensory environment - uses

Judy Denziloe

  • A laboratory where we can control the environment, remove distractions and interruptions, introduce various stimuli and observe the result - what does the child like/dislike, what can they see and hear, what combination of effects works on them?
  • A quiet, comfortable area for relaxation and 'chilling out'.
  • A stimulating environment which encourages alertness and concentration.
  • Specific aims for children with ASD - calming down, increasing arousal levels, creating small, safe places.
  • A play and leisure facility.
  • A place for children and enablers to share enjoyment and communication as equals.
  • A safe space to put the principles of intensive interaction into practice.
  • A learning environment which supports and extends curriculum activities.
  • A place to learn about cause and effect, switch operation, gaining control and making choices.
  • A performance space for sensory storytelling and theme work.

Ground rules for using the Multisensory Environment

The multisensory environment is not a dumpting ground, or a place to chat about what you watched on TV last night.

The MSE is an enriched environment which supports our interactions with children and facilitates their interactions with their world and the people in it.

The equipment does not do the work.

We - workers, parents, carers - are the most important resource in the MSE but we are not there to be the Butlin's Redcoat entertainer.

We are the enabler, facilitator, oberver - assisting the person we are supporting to access the sensory environment.

We do not go into the MSE and switch everything on.

We ensure that the MSE is a clean, pleasant place to be and that everything works appropriately and reliably.