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The Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center in Kips Bay operates 24 hours a day, temporarily housing children and youth who are awaiting foster care placement.
By Forum Staff
The City Administration for Children’s Services recently unveiled plans for a multi-sensory room at the Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center in Manhattan, which, according to ACS Commissioner David Hansell, will better serve youth in foster care who have autism and other developmental or cognitive delays.
Hansell noted that the new ACS sensory room will include a variety of sensory features, including:
- Solar Projector and laser stars: Projectors and lighting can promote calm and comfort through visual engagement. The changing of shapes and colors may help youth relax.
- Aroma diffuser: This can stimulate the sense of smell and provide a calming element for children.
- Bouncy loungers and crash mats: These can help with proprioception and sense of balance. Bouncing and jumping can help students with vestibular challenges.
- Bean bag chairs: Bean bag chairs help children with proprioceptive issues and provide deep pressure stimulation which can be calming and comforting to children.
- Gel floor pads: When children touch or step on the pads, the different colored gel shifts around; this encourages visual processing and sensory stimulation.
- Tactile Blocks: The feeling of these blocks in a child’s hands can be calming and therapeutic.
According to ACS, across the country, approximately 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by the age of 8. Research suggests that sensory issues often accompany autism, which means that some children with autism may be hyper-sensitive to certain types of sights, touch, smells, and more.
The sensory room will be available for use in fall 2019.