YMCA Sensory Room provides calming space

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A unique space in Fort Wayne aims to create calm, stimulate senses, and promote interaction. The Sensory Room at The Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA was specifically designed for a variety of diagnoses, from autism and PTSD to anxiety and ADHD.

The Sensory Room is filled with $50,000 worth of specialized equipment, hand-selected by experts for those with sensory processing disorders. Equipment includes weighted blankets, fiber optic strands, bubble columns, a ball pit, and more. These tools have the ability to stimulate, relax, and de-stress. The resonance sound and light floor, for example, improves motor skills and provides visual, auditory, and tactile experiences.

According to the staff, it’s one of the only YMCA’s in the United States that has a sensory room of this capacity. Visitors must take their shoes off before entering The Sensory Room, can accommodate up to 3 people at the same time and is open to all ages. Most people spend between 15 and 25 minutes in the room for a session. On average, around 5 or 6 people use The Sensory Room every day, but staff are hoping the space can be used by more people who need it.

The Sensory Room is located at the Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA in northeast Fort Wayne at 5680 YMCA Park Drive West. The space is available to all YMCA members. For more information about accessing the room, members should ask staff at the front desk of the YMCA or call 260-755-4949.