The Grand Opening of SEASPAR's new recreation programming space, located in the Lisle Recreation Center, was held on May 31, and brought out many community residents. People waited in line for their first step inside "Wonders, A Multi-Sensory Room" and were also able to tour the new activity room, which features space for cooking, art, computer skills, social activities, and an additional site for the EAGLES program.
The Wonders multi-sensory room primarily benefits individuals of any age with Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders, ADHD, and Dementia. Wonders' specially-designed equipment appeals to the auditory, tactile, olfactory, and visual senses. Music is played through the Vibroacoustic Learning Chair so that individuals are surrounded by the music and can also feel its vibrations. Light-up bubble tubes have easy-to-use interactive controls, allowing individuals to control color changes with the push of a button. The Gesturetek Cube stimulates the senses by creating an interactive projection on the floor with entertaining games and amazing special effects which are gesture controlled. The Soundbeam 5 converts physical movements into sound and music, enabling individuals to communicate and express themselves through this contact-free musical instrument. This unique facility will enhance the quality of life for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to Carolyn Jackson, the Special Needs Consultant at Flaghouse, who supplied the room's equipment, Wonders is the first multi-sensory room to open in a recreation facility in the United States.
SEASPAR Recreation Specialist, Rachel Pavesich, who brought the concept of the multi-sensory room to the table, said "I feel like the real reward of the work that was put into this project is just starting to transpire with seeing our participants' reaction to the room." The process of developing the multi-sensory room started in January 2012, thanks to a donation from the grandparent of a SEASPAR participant, which was designated to go towards children's programming. As staff considered options for the funding, Rachel thought of the Snoezelen concept she had written a paper about in college. After writing up a proposal, and touring several facilities, staff received the green light to go ahead with the project from the SEASPAR Board.
A dedication ceremony included a heartfelt thank you to the Lisle Park District Commissioners and staff for making this space available for SEASPAR participants. The space has been designated for SEASPAR use for the next 30 years. The availability of program space all day/every day will allow SEASPAR to create more dynamic programs and to further develop existing programs to meet the needs of its residents.
Contact SEASPAR at 630-960-7600 or go to www.seaspar.org for additional information.
SEASPAR provides year-round recreation services for individuals with disabilities and is an extension of the park districts of Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Lisle, Westmont, and Woodridge, and the villages of Brookfield, Indian Head Park and Western Springs.