Sensory-room helps kids with intellectual disabilities - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Sensory-room helps kids with intellectual disabilities

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BOSTON (WHDH) -- A new way to help children with special needs develop their senses and skills.

It’s a method that doesn't use any medication, and instead relies on a remarkable kind of room.

It was a perfect blue sky day to be on a tire swing.

For two-and-a-half-year-old Alex Elliot, just being around the other kids gets him giggling.

"He's just so positive, which is a gift," Alex's mom Meredith Elliot said.

But his struggle can be hard to watch.

"You care about your child so much and you want nothing more for them than to be typical but when they're not typical, you start realizing he's here for a reason,” said Elliot.

Meredith cradled Alex as they got 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.

"There's not a lot of distraction going on, you're stimulating a different part of the brain,” said Eric Bryant, a physical therapy assistant.

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,” said Bryant.

In this room though, anything seems possible.

Elliot 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.

"Even from this session to last week's session, he was going further distances on water bed -- he showed a lot of stamina,” said Bryant.

"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, being able to function fully within society - the sky is the limit,” said Elliot.

Experts said one of every six children experience some type of sensory symptoms that slow down their development.

This new room is a cutting-edge way to tackle that problem.

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