Regulating the sensory systems of special needs children.
Families receive regular respites from the daily challenges of care taking.
The church congregation engages in ministering to the needs of these children and their families.
My daughter loves the Sensory and Motor rooms, and she is absolutely heartbroken when we can’t make it in. After experiencing these rooms on Sundays, she always has a better week. It has made a real difference in our lives.
My husband and I had only been to dinner together one time in 2 years. The Sensory and Motor rooms allowed us to have a respite, and time to ourselves. My son loves it because he has been able to get his sensory and motor needs met, and it has brought much joy to our lives.
We tried other churches in the past, but they did not have the resources or understanding to deal with special needs kids. The Sensory and Motor rooms have been a great place to take our son, and give us a chance to enjoy church again.
The Sensory and Motor rooms are amazing in so many ways. We’re seeing children making connection and establishing community, watching marriages being restored through respite, and volunteers coming alive in their giftings and calling. These rooms brings a wholeness to our church house.
The Sensory and Motor rooms have impacted my daughter’s life in so many ways. Because she has autism, making friends can be hard for her. She has made her first real friends at the Sensory and Motor rooms! They help to calm her, which makes the rest of her day very peaceful. I have never felt comfortable leaving my daughter with babysitters, but I trust the staff that manages these rooms implicitly. This program has truly been a godsend.
My daughter, Faith, has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and autism. This has resulted in intense anxiety and multiple sensory regulation issues, not to mention the difficulty she has moving the right side of her body.
Going to church has always been a priority for our family. However, every time we loaded Faith in the car for church, the screaming and crying would begin. She would say “I am scared of all the people!” Once she was out of the car, I was in a full sweat by the time I walked her to her classroom. Faith’s two brothers would dread church, as her screaming would create stress for the whole family.
How could special needs children feel safe and enjoy church? By giving them an environment which meets their sensory and motor needs.
I spent years doing research with physical, occupational, speech, and developmental therapists to develop rooms where special needs children could play differently. While they play in the sensory and motor rooms, their systems become regulated, so they feel safe. Also, each piece of equipment is therapeutic in nature so the kids leave better than they came in. Sounds amazing!! It is!!
Every child, including my Faith, enjoys the Sensory and Motor rooms so much that they ask for the experience all week. Going to Church is a joy again!!
Terrie and Faith (diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy & Autism)