In his book, The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five “Difficult” Types of Children, author Stanley Greenspan describes the experience of a child with sensory sensitivities saying…
“Imagine driving a car that isn’t working well. When you step on the gas the car sometimes lurches forward and sometimes doesn’t respond. When you blow the horn it sounds blaring. The brakes sometimes slow the car, but not always. The blinkers work occasionally, the steering is erratic, and the speedometer is inaccurate. You are engaged in a constant struggle to keep the car on the road, and it is difficult to concentrate on anything else.”
Through the years…
There has been a significant increase in children being diagnosed with ADHD, Autism and other sensory processing disorders. In a move that is sure to please parents with children who suffer from these sensitivity, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Theme Park recently announced that the park had added a calming room to their world-renown park. The room has been designed to provide a soothing, safe place for parents to bring children who are dealing with sensory overload.
The room was designed primarily for children with autism and their families.
It has been designed to offer a quiet space filled with calming elements that allow the children to spend quiet time on their own. It is the first room of its kind to be offered in this sort of setting worldwide.
The Park worked in conjunction with Autism Speaks to develop the room and to determine what would be the most helpful ways to assist kids on the spectrum. They sought out the best toys, textures, lighting, and objects that would be welcoming to the children.
The addition of the room to the theme park is significant for those who have children with autism or other sensory processing disorders. Typically theme park atmospheres can be difficult for these families as there are several things happening at one time and children who are more sensitive can become overwhelmed. The quiet room ensures these families that there is a space available to them and their child to find a sense of calm and to come back to a more centered space.