What is a Calming Room
A calming room is a safe space. An area that provides protection for the user. In some situations these rooms may include sensory elements to help relax and de-escalate the user. These rooms are very useful and can be used for both children and adults. They are found in schools, hospitals and even some prisons. They are ideal for individuals with social and emotional behavioural difficulties (SEBD), emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) and persons on the Autistic Spectrum.
They can also be used in settings where users may have a tendency to get agitated or are of an emotionally raised state, such as in care homes and in prisons. They can also be beneficial for users who suffer with a tendency to self harm.
The idea of a Calming Room is to create a safe area where the user enters as a measure to control risk to both themselves and to others around them. The area is generally fully padded, including floors, walls, windows, radiators etc. A soft plinth, like a seat or bed can also be installed to provide comfort.
The use of auxiliary technology can also be beneficial, but it has to be carefully considered. The aim is not to create escalated behaviour, because the user knows they will get a “reward” by being able to play with any lighting. These areas are best utilised when closely managed with human control of the environment and of any rewards depending on each individual case. Technology does have its place though, as the distraction of calming sound and lighting can help to quickly reduce the raised emotional state.