Disha is a special needs in the heart of Mattenchery that is helping children with Cerebal Palsy, Autism, Mental Retardation and other disabilities. There is not much space so there are only 15 students with 3 Specialist Teachers who are at the center. They are aged from 8 years to 23 years. At this school the children are getting basic special education and they are also trying to create a vocational unit. Most of the children who attend come from difficult backgrounds and are financially not stable. The special school itself is basic and there are not many resources that the teachers have at the moment.
With the idea and help of our volunteer Laura Prigogine from Belgium, we decided to create a Snoezelon or Multi Sensory Experience Therapy room for the students that are attending Disha. This is a therapy for people with autism and other developmental disabilities. It consists of placing the person in a soothing and stimulating environment, called the ‘œSnoezelen room’. These rooms are specially designed to deliver stimuli to various senses, using lighting effects, color, sounds, music, scents, and massage in the end. The combination of different materials on a wall may be explored using tactile senses, and the floor may be adjusted to stimulate the sense of balance.
Ideally, Snoezelen is a non-directive therapy, controlled by the client and not by the therapist. The focus is to assist users to gain the maximum pleasure from the activity in which they and the enabler are involved. An advantage of Snoezelen therapy is that it does not rely on verbal communication and may be beneficial for people with profound autism, as it may provide stimulation for those who would otherwise be almost impossible to reach.
Snoezelen therapy that has been created gives the children of Disha a 20 minute experience atleast 2 or 3 times a week. The entire room has been created with locally bought materials. We had local carpenters fix the room, electrics fixed by Orane Arts, and KronoKare Cosmetics (New Delhi) will be providing the essential oils for the massage therapy. We are proud to say that Disha is the second special school in India that has such a room. The specialist teachers and students have already started their sessions in the sensory room and we cant wait to get more volunteers who can help out with the Special Needs school and the Snoezelen Experience.
If you want to apply to this program register online via this link http://www.rainbowvoluntours.co.uk/volunteer-tour/health-volunteer-in-india
Thank You Laura Prigogine, KronoCare Cosmetics, Orane Arts and all the amazing locals in Fort Kochi who supported us to create this MSE for the kids!