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Snoezelen. Victoria L. Rice Governors State University Educ 737 Winter 2002. What Is Snoezelen ?. Snoezelen (pronounced snoozelen) is a technical term for a concept designed to appeal to the senses.

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Victoria l rice governors state university educ 737 winter 2002


Victoria L. Rice

Governors State University

Educ 737

Winter 2002

What is snoezelen
What Is Snoezelen ?

  • Snoezelen (pronounced snoozelen) is a technical term for a concept designed to appeal to the senses.

  • It is an activity taking place in a dusky room with special light sources, soft music, aromatherapy, tactile and taste experiences.

Where did snoezelen come from
Where Did Snoezelen Come From ?

  • The word snoezelen was derived from two Netherlands words “snuffelen” (schnueffein-does what one wants) and “doezelen” (dozen – to ease).

  • Snoezelen was developed in Holland in the 1970’s and was designed to target populations with severe sensory and developmental disabilities to provide relaxation experiences in a controlled setting.

Snozelen a new occupation
Snozelen, A New Occupation

Since its beginning at the DeHartenberg Center in Holland, snoezelen has become a very meaningful activity for the severely retarded and has developed into a completely new occupation. The snoezelen program is relatively new. It’s purpose is to deliver sensory or motor relaxation. Sensory stimulation may also be a goal if determined appropriate for a particular participant.

Understanding the snoezelen phenomenon
Understanding the Snoezelen Phenomenon

  • Sensory Perception

  • Thoughts

  • Feelings

  • Actions

How can we create favorable conditions
How Can We Create Favorable Conditions?

  • By being alert

  • Paying close attention to how, where, and when the individual is transmitting signals

  • Find out what their signals are

  • Stand-by all the time to receive and to register as many signals as possible

  • Implement snoezelen observation sheet

The senses and perception
The Senses and Perception

  • Hearing

  • Touching

  • Seeing

  • Tasting

  • Smelling

    Snoezelen focuses on creating a world where the senses are experienced in a self contained environment.

Our most important sense is touch
Our Most Important Sense Is Touch

  • The surface of the skin contains a great number of sensory receptors that respond to heat, cold, touch, or pain.

  • There are about 70 receptors on a square centimeter of skin.

  • Our skin is the most prominent organ of our body.

The perception of sight and touch
The Perception of Sight and Touch

  • In our culture the tactile sense has been moved to the background and visual perception prevails.

  • We exist in a sort of “do-not-touch-me” society.

  • Because visual perception is so prominent we often receive limited information about our environment.

  • What is seen and felt is always experienced more intensely than what is seen only.

The perception of taste and smell
The Perception of Taste and Smell

  • Taste and smell play a decisive roll in our environment.

  • Sensations of taste are mostly combinations of taste and smell.

  • Smells can have a major influence on our state of mind.

  • Smells often call up associations of earlier experiences and are linked either pleasantly or unpleasantly.

The perception of sound
The Perception of Sound

  • Sound in a sense also has a tactile quality

  • The skin reacts to both sound and pressure waves

  • We perceive sound with our ears, skin, and organs

An image of our environment
An Image of Our Environment

  • All these forms of sensory perception provide us with a picture of space, time, reality, dimension, shape, depth, quality and structure of everything around us.

  • The data we store in our memory and recall extends our environment with quantitatively and qualitatively depending on how and to what extent we move about in this world.

Mobility a major factor
Mobility a Major Factor

  • Mobility is a major factor in how we extend our environment.

  • A person who is limited in mobility or has to get along without use of one or more senses, uses certain senses more selectively and intensely.

  • Thus he can still broaden his experiences.

Snoezelen in practice the snoezelen room

The right atmosphere

The opportunity for choice

The opportunity to set the pace

The correct length of time


A selective offer of stimuli

The proper fundamental attitude

The right supervision

Snoezelen in Practice the “Snoezelen Room”

Snoezelen possibilities
Snoezelen Possibilities

Previously we have described a snoezelen room where the environment is controlled in a self contained setting. The following pictures are designed to demonstrate some of the “snoezelen” possibilities available. Your own research and needs of the population you serve will be decisive in establishing the “snoezelen” experience you desire.

Snoezelen room activity
Snoezelen Room Activity

  • Fiber Optic, Tails Large

  • Mat

  • Bean Bag Chair

Snoezelen room activity1
Snoezelen Room Activity

  • Bubble Tube

  • Fish

  • Water Color Change

  • Switches