Interactive autism sensory rooms open in Austintown
A unique and interactive experience combines the powers of music and calming environments to provide sensory rooms for people with autism.
Sophia's Place, located at 60 Westchester Dr, Unit 3 in The Carousel Center (TCC), is providing adults who have autism with interactive experiences in both the music and calming rooms. Each room provides a therapeutic escape.
"It provides like a sensory blanket. When they come here, it's got a very calming atmosphere," lead designer Scott Austalosh said.
Austalosh told 21 News his daughter Sophia who has autism, was the inspiration behind the program.
The calming room includes a sensory pad with a weighted blanket, fiber optic lighting, soothing aromas, noise-canceling headphones, and an interactive sound wall activated by touch. Which puts visitors in control of their own environment and reduces sensory overload.
"We have everything from calming sounds to stories to even voiceovers. So they can actually pick, depending on the level of what they're feeling, they can pick how they want to navigate this entire wall," Austalosh said.
Grammy-award-winning songwriter and Disney star Genevieve Goings produced all the sounds and narrated all the stories.
She says the music room wall is where music can be made and offers a unique sensory experience for those in need of stimulation.
For now, the rooms are only available to people within the TCC, but Austalosh hopes to introduce the room to kids in the future.
"My hope is that Sophia's Place will be a model for using printed technologies, music, and sounds in other venues for people with autism across the nation," Austalosh said.