Children's Museum of Cleveland opens Nov. 6 with sensory room for kids, adults

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The new Children's Museum of Cleveland is set to open its doors on Nov. 6.

The museum is designed with everyone in mind -- including children and adults who visit who may become overwhelmed or who have autism.

"We have created a sensory friendly room in partnership with Monarch School for Autism, and it's really a place that, as our mission at the Children's Museum of Cleveland is to support the learning and development of all children, it is a way that we really thought about children who might have sensory sensitivity and a way to create a space that is safe for them - that they know they can come to the museum and still have an enjoyable experience," said Maria Campanelli, executive director of the Children's Museum of Cleveland.

The sensory room is located on the museum's main floor.

Everything inside is designed to help calm a child or adult down.

The room is dimly lit with soft music playing

"So in here we have -- a vibrating pillow. So, if you push on it you feel it," described Anna Greenspan, an autism expert from the Monarch Center for Autism who chose all of the items inside the room.

There are items that provide controlled visual support. Some that allow kids to touch, feel and hear, while at the same time grounding their senses.

There are tiles that change colors when you step on them.

Comfy chairs to sit on.

A speckled light display on the wall, but It's a small space, and that's not an accident.

"Very often kids are actually overwhelmed by the big world. They really are. They like smaller spaces. They have smaller bodies." said Greenspan.

For kids, processing their surroundings is easier in a smaller space.

"Then, when you are calm enough and are ready to face the bigger spaces, you can leave this space and face the bigger spaces," said Greenspan.

Children and adults are both welcome in the sensory room.

The designers of the sensory room visited several children's museums around the country to get input on how the Children's Museum of Cleveland's sensory room would look.

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