The Snoezelen Room: A Multi-Sensory Room for Children and Youth with Special Needs

news image

The Snoezelen room at the Multi-Service Hub in Richmond Hill is a specially designed room that provides a relaxing environment for children and youth with special needs. It is a multi-sensory environment that offers a place for children and youth to seek leisure in an unstructured and undemanding way.

The Snoezelen room provides a range of activities and experiences that stimulate the primary senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – allowing for exploration, self-direction and fun. This multi-sensory environment is tailored to meet the specific needs of special needs children according to their age and ability.

The Philosophy of Snoezelen:
The spirit of Snoezelen is to give children with special needs;

  • an enjoyable and fun activity
  • an opportunity to be self-directed and gain a sense of mastery
  • a time to connect, communicate and build trust with their caregiver

With parent/caregiver support, the participant can control their experiences and gain a sense of control and mastery. The Snoezelen room provides an environment of pleasurable sensory experience in an atmosphere that promotes trust while supporting relaxation and calm.

We love the Snoozelen room because it offers the rare chance to reset, sensory wise. I book it during a PA day or at the beginning or during the school holiday breaks because it allows my daughter to reset herself in a sensory way. I do find it helps me in that way sometimes too. I believe to it gives us a chance to reconnect one on one without her having to worry about outside sensory distractions. Robert, CTN parent


The Benefits of Snoezelen:
The Snoezelen concept is based on the idea that everyone has a right to quality leisure activities. For children and youth with special needs, this is often difficult to achieve. Research has shown that Snoezelen:
  • Stimulates the senses
  • Increases functionality, awareness and attention
  • Improves appetite, memory, cognition and speech
  • Increases happiness and reduces a sense of isolation
  • Encourages movement, range of motion, posture
  • Improves relationships
  • Decreases aggression, abuse, anxiety, wandering

Before using the Snoezelen Room:
For your child to gain the benefits from the Snoezelen environment, caregivers must participate in a Snoezelen Orientation and Training. Sessions are offered are offered on an individual basis and are 45 minutes to 1 hour in length. To register call (905) 954-4011 ext. 72300 or toll free at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 72300 or email

The Snoezelen room is located in the basement at 13175 Yonge Street (corner of Ashfield Drive and Yonge Street) in Oak Ridges. The building is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator. Parking is available at the back of the building and York Region Transit has a stop nearby.

Hours of Operation:
The Snoezelen room is open from 9:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Friday 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m.

Length of Sessions:
Session length depends on the child and his or her familiarity with the room. A one-hour time slot will be provided to each family. Normally, sessions are 45 minutes plus time to bring the session to a close and clean-up.

The Snoezelen Room is a partnership between York Region’s Early Intervention Services Program and Children’s Treatment Network.