How Sensory Rooms Can Aid in Preventing Over Stimulation

June 11, 2021

Girl using headphones to control auditory stimulations

As many of us know, we see the world through our five senses: Taste, Touch, Smell, Sound, and Sight. For most of us, these senses are easily regulated and we often don't think about them much outside of "it's a little dark" or "I'm a little chilly."

However, for many living on the autism spectrum, with ADHA, or other cognitive/physical conditions sensory stimulation isn't always so manageable. In fact, often times these over-stimulated sensory triggers can result in extreme discomfort and distress.

Sensory irregularities can range from a lack of sensation to hyper sensation. Similar to how there are different senses, there are also different sensory stimuli. The experience of touch (textures, pain, moistures, chills) is referred to as a "Tactile" sensation. The experience of audio and visual processing including balance and movement is referred to as a "Vestibular" sensation. And lastly, the experience connected to muscles, joints, and bodily function is referred to as a "Proprioceptive" sensation, which includes the need for bathroom use and hunger.

Obviously, these under-regulated sensory stimuli are uncomfortable and can cause mass amounts of distress, so, what can we do to help? One measure a caregiver can provide to aid someone dealing with this issue is a "sensory room." Simply put, a sensory room is a safe place where an individual can receive the proper stimulation adjusted to the point where they feel safe and regulated.

Boy using sensory head phones to ensure a controlled auditory environment

What does a sensory room look like?

Sensory rooms have been used since the 1970s and vary in size and design. Each individual experience negative sensory stimulation in a unique way, and there is no blanket solution to these specific issues.

For example, our E Street Property team designed a bedroom with a sky-blue accent wall to aid one of our clients vestibular sensation issues, but this same approach may cause another person stress. Sensory rooms can have different textured walls, furniture, lighting, auditory stimulants, etc. These spaces can be a safe place that individuals can go to calm down when feeling over stimulated or over anxious.

Women sitting in blacked out room to ensure visual stimulatory regulation

Other Benefits

Sensory rooms aren't only a place for when someone is experiencing a meltdown. It can also be used to regulate these sensory triggers, practice coping mechanisms, and a safe space to explore your feelings freely.

This room should not be seen as a punishment room or a get-away solution. It is a room designed to help process emotions and develop strategies for improving sensory regulation in the future.


Sensory rooms can be a calming place for individuals to gain the proper stimuli at the appropriate times. This is meant to be a safe place where people can go to experience the stimulation they are familiar and comfortable with.


Many individuals who experience these sensation irregularities also have issues developing social relationships. Sensory rooms can provide a space that encourages comfortability and offers a more relaxed and casual space to create those connections

Improved Focus

Sensory rooms are created for all types of sensory disorders, especially for individuals with ADHD. Sometimes, having a room that is quite with few visual or auditory distractions can be the perfect place to focus on work, tasks, and other objectives.

Developing Motor Skills

Sensory rooms can also be a place to learn, explore, and practice motor skills in a safe environment. Individuals can use this as a place to expand their comfortability with their physical capabilities and learn to fine tune their motor skills.

Small train set for developing fine motor skills

What should my sensory room include?

Like previously mentioned, sensory rooms can include all sorts of products and things to benefit individual's cognitive success.

We recommend viewing Enabling Devices for sensory room tools or visit our website for more information about sensory room construction. We can connect you with the proper agencies to determine the best course of action, and perform renovations ourselves to ensure your sensory room is exactly how you need it.


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