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Welcome at Barry Emons,
your expert in Snoezelen and multi-sensory experience
With this website we will try to inspire you to start with Snoezelen and Multi Sensory Environments. Barry Emons is the most experienced supplier worldwide in this area. We still work with one of the founding fathers of Snoezelen. We can help you to structure your ideas and bring them to life. We ship our products to all parts of the world, from Asia to South America for over 30 years.
If you have a question right now click here to contact our export manager.
We guide you through Snoezelen and the realisation of your own room in 4 questions:
Snoezelen, what is it?
Snoezelen, What can i achieve with it?
What do i need for snoezelen?
How can Barry Emons help me with snoezelen?
Thank you for your interest in Snoezelen and Barry Emons.
Snoezelen what is it?
The concept of Snoezelen was defined in the late 1970’s by two Dutch therapists; Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheul while they were working at the Hartenberg Institute in Holland, a center for people with intellectual disabilities. At the institute’s annual summer fair, Hulsegge and Verheul set up an experimental sensory tent, filled with simple effects such as a fan blowing shards of paper, ink mixed with water projected onto a screen, musical instruments, tactile objects, scent bottles, soaps and flavourful foods.
It was a tremendous success, especially with low-functioning clients who demonstrated positive verbal and non-verbal feedback. The therapists called this multi-sensory experience “snoezelen,” a contraction of the Dutch verbs “snuffelen” (to seek out or explore) and “doezelen” (to relax or doze).
Behind Snoezelen is a multifunctional concept: in a purposely designed room the use of light and sound elements, scents and music initiate sensations. These sensations have both relaxing and activating effects on the different perception areas. The specific design directs and arranges the stimuli; it creates interest, brings back memories and guides relationships. Snoezelen induces wellbeing, in a calm atmosphere fear will be taken away, people feel secure. Snoezelen is therapy as well as promotion and is used for all stages of development (from toddlers to the elderly) (Mertens in Brockhaus Encyclopaedia Vol. 25, 2006,429).
In 2012 the International Snoezelen Association gathered in Alabama and worked on a new definition of Snoezelen.
”….Incorporating the conceptual framework, MSE/Snoezelen is defined as a dynamic pool of intellectual property built on an ongoing sensitive relationship between the participant, the skilled companion and a controlled environment, where a multitude of sensory stimulation possibilities are offered. Developed in the mid 1970’s and practiced worldwide, the MSE/Snoezelen is guided by ethical principles of enriching quality of life. This shared approach has applications in leisure, therapy and education, and takes place in a dedicated space suitable for all people, particularly those with special needs including dementia and autism…..”
The theory behind Snoezelen is exciting ….but how does it work in the field. In the next chapter you will read what you can achieve with Snoezelen. Click here.
Snoezelen…what can I achieve with it
There has been a significant amount of research on the effects of Snoezelen on various types of people. The website of ISNA (International Snoezelen Association) provides a list of interesting studies. Click Here for many examples.
In general Snoezelen is seen as therapy or stimulation for all people with special needs from young to old. Therefore Snoezelen is practice with people with autism, multiple disabilities, dementia, etcetera, regardless their age.
Snoezelen is not just an activity. It is a tool to achieve goals for both caretaker and caregiver. Snoezelen is meant to activate or calm down the caretaker, depending on mood and circumstances. The role of the caregiver is very important. The quest for what works best is in the eyes and hands of the caregiver. Snoezelen can have a direct influence on the quality of life.
• Release tension and decrease aggressive behaviour,
• Help people to relax and find their rest,
• Activate people so they become more alert during the day,
• Develop both motoric and mental skills.
Snoezelen is often an activity within a daily program. In the Hartenberg institution Snoezelen is integrated during all activities of the day; from breakfast to bedtime.
In an institution in The Netherlands a group of 6 people with multiple disabilities that live together. One of the group members was regularly tensed by the end of the morning. This resulted quite often in very obstructive behaviour during lunch. Of course this affected the whole group. Snoezelen is often used for people who are stressed or tensed. They tend to calm down in a Multi-Sensory Environment. They feel secure and are distracted from their stress or anger by the stimuli that are offered. This also happened in this situation. 45 minutes of snoezelen prior to lunch released all tension and the whole group (caretakers and caregivers) benefitted.
Within a family situation Snoezelen can have an important role too. A boy named Pieter of 9 years old with epilepsy, autism, hyper mobility, profound intellectual disability, heart problems and brain damage lives at home with his mother and 2 brothers. He attends a special school.
He rests multiple times per day, because he is at his mental limit or physically tired. He gives clear signs when he is tired: stutters, less mobile, pale face, red cheeks and shows self mutilant behaviour. The Snoezelen room is designed for him.
The snoezelen room is meant for resting, not for sleeping. Pieter sleeps in his own bed at night and two hours after lunch. He snoezels normally at 10.30 and 17.00 hrs. Especially his music vibration waterbed is his favourite.
Once he lies on the bed the effect is clearly visible. This is the only bed where he lies motionless. Normally lying comes with uncontrolled motions and more. In nine years this was the first time that his parents saw him breath properly because of rest and relaxation. Within 30 minutes Pieter is mentally and physically recovered. He and his mother decide together what music meets the demand at that moment. Classical, newage music for resting and more beats when he has to lose some energy. They always conclude with quiet music and mild vibration.
Some statements from Pieter:
• There is no ordinary water in my bed but magical water. It helps me so well,
• The best of my musical waterbed is that it helps me to become more awake,
• The bed never makes me angry.
Snoezelen with people who suffer from dementia is also often practiced. By stimulating the reticular activating system of the brain it is possible to filter stimuli and prepare the person for engagement in everyday activity. One such tool that has been shown to do this is the Snoezelen environment. Snoezelen provides a range of sensory stimulation that may be tailored to meet the needs of people with dementia in order to increase awareness and assist in the preparation for engagement in meaningful activity. See this pdf of the phd study of Julia van Weert.
What do I need for Snoezelen?
Snoezelen does not have to be expensive. There are many examples of homemade snoezelen items that work fantastically. See here.
The basics behind Snoezelen is that the caregiver knows what Snoezelen is about and has her or his eyes and ears wide open. Your client will in some way make you notice what is interesting, annoying, overwhelming and much more. There is a lot of material that can help you with theoretical background and practical instructions.
Starting point is that the client feels comfortable and secure. A waterbed, or even better a vibrant musical waterbed, has proven to be valuable and reliable for many people. Furthermore you can add items that stimulate different senses at the same time. This depends entirely on the people who you want to do Snoezelen with and what you want to achieve with Snoezelen. A bubble unit, for example, is visually attractive, but the vibration of the bubbles provides also great tactile effects. People tend to touch with their hand or cheek and feel the vibrations.
Aroma is also important and very price worthy. A diffuser and some basic oils can make all the difference. Projection of slow changing effects on the wall for instance with an oil wheel proves to be very interesting too.
We design and deliver a useful Snoezelen room from 3.500 to 50.000 Usd. Individual snoezelen items are of course less expensive.
See some examples of Snoezelen rooms we delivered last year.
Snoezelroom that was realized in Beijing China, this was the first snoezelroom in China.
Snoezelroom realized in Bolivia
How can Barry Emons help me with Snoezelen?
Barry Emons can help you from idea to delivery in only 6 steps.
Get in contact via email or phone with our Export Manager. She speaks English, French, German, Dutch and basic Spanish. She will ask you to fill out this form here. Here you can enter your idea, your goals and ballpark budget. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
We will get in contact with you with some specific questions regarding dimensions, electrics and some other in-depth issues that came up while reading the form.
With this information we will make you an offer and present you a 3D drawing of your room. See an example of a drawing below.
You can approve the drawing and the offer or we will adjust it to meet your demands. You finalize this step by signing the offer. We start production after payment.
Logistics and customs are important. Of course that is different per country. We will help you to fill out the paperwork and provide you with information on dimensions and weight of the pallets. We have shipped to many countries in Asia, Middle East, Europe, South- and Middle America.
Since you have the 3D drawing, installation will be quite straight forward, but we are here to help you! Via skype, telephone or email we can assist, our technical crew is ready for it. We can also agree to send an engineer to install your room. However in 95% of the cases it is really not necessary.
We can provide Snoezelen training via Skype or on location in English, Dutch, French and German language.