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Multi-Sensory Environment

Siskin Hospital’s Multi-Sensory Environment is a dedicated room designed with two goals in mind: to promote intellectual activity and to encourage relaxation.

This environment positively affects the central nervous system by inducing relaxation and reducing agitation in a controlled environment.

Multi-Sensory Environments (MSEs) offer people with cognitive impairments and other challenging conditions the opportunity to enjoy and control a variety of sensory experiences. 

Such individuals rarely experience the world as the rest of us do. Limitations of movement, vision, hearing, cognitive ability, constrained space, behavior, perception, pain, and other problems create obstacles to their enjoyment of life. Multi-sensory stimulation can help bridge these barriers.

MSEs block out noise and control space, temperature and lighting. It is an artificially-created environment stocked with accessories to stimulate sensory experiences or reduce over-stimulation in order to promote pleasure and/or feelings of well-being.

Siskin Hospital’s MSE is a tool used to achieve a patient’s specific and measurable therapeutic goals. The therapist’s role is to follow and support the patient’s activity in the MSE without influencing choices. This results in a relaxing and explorative experience that gives individuals a sense of autonomy and control.

MSEs allow the individual to intensify or reduce sensory stimulation by using items singly or in combination with one another. The items selected for use can be targeted for active or passive interaction and matched to fit the perceived motivation, interests, leisure, relaxation, and therapeutic needs of the user.


The Multi-Sensory Environment at Siskin Hospital includes:

Projector: Provides visual stimulation through moving images which impacts arousal level – both engaging and calming by changing the image.

Lava Lamp: Provides visual stimulation and evokes a feeling of calmness and relaxation.

Bubble Tube: Stimulates visual, tactile, and auditory senses. The Bubble Tube promotes visual awareness, tracking skills, cause and effect, color matching, and vestibular system through vibration.

Fiber Optic Tail: Stimulates visual and tactile senses. Ofen used to arouse a patient through active engagement. The changing colors help to focus attention and calm individuals.

Weighted Blanket: Uses deep pressure touch stimulation to facilitate calming individuals.

Aroma Diffuser: Stimulates olfactory senses. Promotes feelings of calm and relation through varying aromas.

Disco Ball: Designed to arouse individual through visual stimulation and attention.

Sensory Tubes: Stimulates auditory, visual, and tactile senses depending on the medium utilized in the tube.

Activity Lapboards: Facilitates arousal through tactile interaction.