Sensory room offers special needs kids new hope

Sensory room offers special needs kids new hope

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 12 at 12:13 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It is a perfect blue sky day to be on a tire swing.  For two-and-a-half-year-old Alex, just being around the other kids gets him giggling.

“He’s just so positive, which is a gift,” Alex’s mom Meredith said.

But his struggle can be hard to watch.

“You care about your child so much and you want them to be typical but when they’re not typical, you start realizing he’s here for a reason,” she said.

Meredith cradles Alex as they get ready to head into a new room at his daycare.

He has cerebral palsy, and this room opens up a whole new world for him-- one where he can touch, see and hear things in a whole different way.

Physical therapy assistant Eric Bryant explains, “There’s not a lot of distraction going on; you’re stimulating a different part of the brain.”

The idea in what’s called the multi-sensory room is to block everything out and use special lighting, fiber optics and even bubbles to help Alex focus.

“What we’re working on is crawling, pulling through with his arms and then bringing his knees forward, which is something he doesn’t do normally,” Bryant said.

In this room though, anything seems possible.

Meredith is thrilled watching his progress.

“The fact that he’s doing the things he’s doing is remarkable. He’s just an awesome spirit awesome kid , an awesome inspiration and he makes everybody around him better,” she expressed.

His therapist said, “Even from this session to last week’s session, he was going further distances on water bed-- showed a lot of stamina.”

“I hope for him everything. I hope for my girls and that the sky is the limit. He can do whatever he wants to do. So whether that’s being the president or going to college, [or] being able to function fully within society- the sky is the limit,” Alex’s therapist said.

The multi-sensory room is at the Easter Seal childcare center but is open to anyone in the community with a special needs child.

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