New sensory room unveiled for children during Halloween party at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
BALTIMORE - Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital and Spirit of Children hosted its annual Halloween party on Wednesday.
This year, a dedication ceremony was also held to unveil the hospital's new sensory room and plaque.
The new sensory room was designed for Mt. Washington Pediatric patients to move, play and explore using a variety of sensory activities to promote relaxation, imagination and build confidence with special needs.
"As a child life specialist, one of our main goals is to help normalize the child's experience in the hospital," said Anna Snee, child life specialist at MWPH. "So, a sensory room is really important to meet the needs of children with all different levels of abilities."
Children who have sensory processing disorders benefit from the acts of climbing, jumping, moving, and playing, allowing them to develop increased awareness of their surroundings, improving focus and learning to self-regulate their behavior.
"Our sensory rooms will have different lights, different ways for children to interact and play in a way that meets their individual needs," Snee said.
"That equipment is just going to be essential for these children to get back to moving and grooving and getting really familiarized with the socialization and releasing that energy that they have built up in the hospital," said Nikki Balles, Corporate Director of PR & Communication, Spirit Halloween
Donations to support the new sensory room were raised by generous Baltimore-area Spirit Halloween guests.
Since 2007, Spirit Halloween guests have raised nearly $570,000 for Spirit of Children to support MWPH Child Life Department activities, including the new sensory room.
"Spirit of Children and Spirit Halloween just want to support them and make sure that they feel this sense of fun," said Balles. "The idea is to bring this fun into the hospitals and make it a little less scary."
That's why every year, they host a Halloween party for the children and their family to enjoy.
"Our goal is to make things normal and when you're in a hospital, things aren't normal so an event like today is so special because it makes the kids just feel like kids," Snee said.
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