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Sensory Therapy Room for kids at Lutherwood

ACF13403 Lutherwood Waterloo Ontario N2J 3Z4

Created September 24, 2012 by Donovan Insurance Brokers


Waterloo Ontario N2J 3Z4

Funding Level

$100k - 150k (< 2014)

Community Size

Between 100 - 1,000


Lutherwood’s Sensory Therapy (Snoezelen) Room for Kids with Mental Health Challenges

Kids with mental health challenges have trouble regulating their extreme emotions and behaviours. Today at Lutherwood Children’s Mental Health Centre in Waterloo, if a child is agitated or aggressive and has the potential to harm themselves or others they may be moved to a bare, secluded room where they try to calm themselves.

Tomorrow, with the help of AVIVA and the votes of our community, a child will be able to calm themselves in the new Snoezelen room.  They will better be able to express their emotions and focus on learning and healing from their mental health challenges. 

What is it?

Snoezelen is a form of therapy that offers sensory stimulation and relaxation through light, touch, sound and smell. Developed by therapists in the Netherlands in the 70’s  (the name combines Dutch verbs snuffelen, to explore, and doezelen, to relax) for adults with mental disabilities, the rooms are used today for a variety of people from developmentally disabled children to elderly dementia patients.

What happens in the Snoezelen Room?

The Snoezelen Room is a specially designed space that offers sensory stimulation and relaxation through light, touch, sound and smell.  A child can choose the activities that will be most helpful such as watching bubbles float in tall tubes of light, listening to soft music, touching fiber optic strands, gazing at the patterns from lights, sitting in ball baths, feeling the weight of a heavy blanket etc.

How will the room help a child?

There are emotional, behavioural and academic benefits.  A child will feel less agitated, aggressive or anxious.  They will think and learn better.  Some children, who cannot express their feelings easily may communicate them better after being in the Snoezelen Room.

Who will be able to use the room?

Up to 400 children a year will benefit from the Sensory Therapy Room; 250 children a year who live and learn at Lutherwood’s Children’s Mental Health centre and 100 more from the community.  We will  welcome any child from the community and their families who want to have the experience to share our room.  The Snoezelen Room at Lutherwood can be fully built, equipped and functional to serve kids in Kitchener-Waterloo through the AVIVA Community Fund.