This new space was made possible by a generous donation from Darvin Furniture & Mattress. The library had been considering opening a sensory room for years, as it would be used often by residents and groups visiting from local campuses that support people with disabilities. Darvin Furniture has made it possible.
What is the Sensory Space?
The Sensory Space is a place where overwhelmed young patrons can go to take a break. Modeled after sensory rooms designed for people on the autism spectrum or with sensory processing disorder, our Sensory Space is an enclosed room with a variety of tactile manipulatives, soft seating, and calming lights to help our patrons level out their feelings until they are ready to continue using the library or head home. The Sensory Space is not a private playroom. The items in the room are sensory friendly for patrons preferring less stimuli.
How do I use the Sensory Space?
The Sensory Space is just big enough for one family to use at a time. The room will always remain closed until it is needed. The guardian of the child can go to the Junior Desk and check out the room. The Sensory Space can be checked out for a max of one hour. When you are done in the room, just let the librarian at the Junior Desk know and they will sign you out of the room. The Sensory Space is not limited to Orland Park Public Library Cardholders, but all library users.
What’s in the Sensory Space?
- Giant Bean Bag Sofa
This allows for both soft seating and a place to stretch out and lay down.
- Tactile Wall Tiles
Children can change their focus from a moment of anxiety and direct that energy to the activities on the tiles.
- Handheld Manipulatives (Marble Fidget Toy, Water Timer, Pop Tube, and Textured Marble Board)
These manipulatives give the child something to do with their hands whether it’s a calming feeling to concentrate on, or the sensation of making the sounds with the pop tubes.
- Bubble Mirror
This allows the child to focus on themselves while increasing perception awareness.
- Cosmic Liquid Floor Tiles
The tiles can be touched or stepped on which result in the movement of colored water trapped in plastic.
- Rotating Projector
The projector has a choice of 3 calming sceneries (ocean, forest, and clouds) that slowly rotate in a clockwise manner. This gives the child a new visual focus to switch their mind from a feeling of anxiety to something less anxiety-building.
- Bubble Tube
The bubble tube is filled with water and blows bubbles as well as lights up in the room. This is a great tool to use if the child needs a break from the library lights and provides a white noise sound from the bubbles.
Please check the Sensory Room Policy for more details.
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