Special Haven provides resources to the special-needs community in East County by providing multi-sensory rooms filled with equipment designed to touch each of the five senses by soft, safe and significant means.
“Anyone with special needs, whether they are young children or adults, will benefit,” said Scott Lawler, a Special Haven board member. “It stimulates adults with Alzheimer’s, and infants too.”
Multi-sensory rooms are popular and proven tools abroad, used for treating people with autism, brain injuries, developmental disabilities and even dementia. Though Lawler said the therapy has been slow to gain widespread use in the United States, it’s time has come.
Another local organization – The Special Kids Foundation – thinks so too, and recently donated $7,000 to the group for the purchase of its first piece of sensory equipment.
“Special Haven is on a quest and we want to help them,” said Special Kids President and Co-founder Lisa McBride. “Because part of our own mission is to do something like this when we get our own facility, we figured: let’s help them build theirs, too. It’s an amazing project that fulfills our mission as well as theirs.”
For Special Haven, the donation from Special Kids is a wonderful gift. “Yes, we are happy,” said Lawler. “So happy to have the help from Special Kids and to be able to get something started. We are so appreciative.”
According to the group’s website, the multi-sensory room – to be housed at the Intuitive Healing Center in Antioch – will “provide a tactile experience through sound, aroma, touch and visual effects in many combinations and variations … The overactive will be calmed, the inactive become interested. The partially sighted can see the vivid, moving colors. The whole room can change color by applying pressure to simple switches or pressure pads.”
Lawler said Special Haven is still in the process of researching and purchasing the equipment: a portable unit to be set up in the multi-sensory room. “We’re still looking at units but we hope to have one within the month,” said Lawler. “We’ve been busy getting things organized, fundraising – doing all the things you do when you’re starting up. But we’re excited and ready to go.”
Special Haven is located at 213 G St. in Antioch. For more information, volunteer opportunities or to make a donation, call 925-777-9995 or log on to www.intuitivehealingcenter.net.