BETA testing for Special Needs and Therapeutic applications began this April at the Alpha Resource Center in Santa Barbara, California, and at “At Home in Ojai” and other locations. Our portable multisensory system is performing incredibly well.
Alpha_SB is a multifaceted service center providing support and information for families of children with developmental disabilities of all ages, teen and adult recreation, and life skills training for adults.
“At Home in Ojai” is an Assisted Living Facility, Elderly Care Facility, and a Retirement Home offering Alzheimer’s Care, Hospice and Respite Care.
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Over the last few years, individuals and organizations have inquired about using our aromaComposer systems to help “Special Needs” persons.
There is a current movement to use multisensory stimulation with great benefits to special needs individuals. Thousands of “Multisensory Environments” (MSE’s) or Snoezelen Rooms (European term) have and continue to be created at facilities worldwide. Unfortunately, scent diffusion has been poorly implemented within these environments due to the limitations of currently available technology.
In cooperation with a European/American “Special Needs” product developer and distributor, we began to design and prototype a new version of the aromaComposer adapted for special needs purposes.
We are now proud to announce the completion of our first “Special Needs” prototype, along with a complete set of molds, which makes it possible to duplicate the systems at significantly reduced cost. This model is assembled from modular components, which can be configured in different ways for a variety of applications. This system is self-controlled by the user, intuitive and interactive. It is ideal for integration into Multisensory Environments as well as other spaces including hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, dentist or doctor’s waiting rooms, etc.
The new AromaComposer, has the capacity to touch people in profound ways, and has applications for persons with autism.
BETA Testing for ”Special Needs” – the AromaComposer MINI
We are now seeking grant funding to fabricate a limited number of prototype “Special Needs” aromaComposers, and to place them into the hands of appropriate persons and facilities for BETA testing.
Special Needs therapists and teachers will experiment with product usage and methodology, make recommendations, and certify these systems. Using our intuitive manual control interface, users can create their own aromatic worlds in association with other sensory stimuli. Healing practitioners of many kinds will have their chance to see how it complements existing therapies and services as well, and what opportunities exist for new applications.
This BETA program will also help to develop appropriate methods of product use, integration with other systems and the creation of specialized control interfaces for persons facing various challenges:
- Developmental Disability
- Children with Special Needs
- Mental Health
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Stroke & Traumatic Brain Injury
- Pain Control
- Dementia, Alzheimer’s, “Sundowners”
We have been in discussions with a major east coast center interested in using our system for continued multisensory research, which they hope will lead to breakthroughs in patient treatment. As predicted by Jeremy Rifkin, our precise and repeatable digital controllers would make this system ideal for scientific application, and learning.
In addition, this BETA program may extend into hospitals and convalescent environments. Currently in the United States, nurses at some hospitals, with doctor approval, are practicing traditional aromatherapy, one patient at a time. Doctors and nurses, and psychotherapists have expressed their interest in adapting our systems for similar purposes; this includes soothing patients and stimulating the natural healing process… for both pre and post treatment.
Beth Comstock, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for GE, experienced our system at the
Google Zeitgeist event, and suggested that it this type of system may have use within their medical imaging
product line, as a way to relax or comfort patients, specifically children.
AromaComposer BETA Projects Described
Through the InSpirit Foundation, … under the wings of the INTERNATIONAL HUMANITIES CENTER, a California-based 501(c)(3) charitable trust, Multisensory Systems is developing non-commercial “projects” based upon decisions of the Board and evaluation of professional and public requests. Projects are being planned to work with any of the groups listed broadly under “Special Needs”, or for “Hospital” uses as described previously.
These projects will be funded independently. Of those that are proposed, the ones that receive funding will be put into action first. Costs associated with each project will vary depending upon the particular application and goals of that project. Budgeting guidelines available upon request.
Length of BETA Programs
For most projects, the BETA test projects would run from four to six months with our support. Afterwards, the results and progress will be evaluated and the study may continue with or without regular support from Multisensory Systems.
An Example Project
One project might be to place 10 variations of our system into several different institutions working with autistic children for BETA testing. These institutions, working separately, may have different plans or theories about how to reach certain goals, but will cooperate with each other throughout the project.
What will they individually discover, as each group takes a slightly different approach to a similar goal?
How successful can the combined project be?
Will the collaborative effort create the best system for a second project, making the discoveries of all projects available at minimum cost to thousands of beneficiaries?
In most of these cases, a special manual control interface will be designed and provided to work well with small, but well functioning hands. This interface might take the form of a smiling bear or other cuddly being… very friendly and non-threatening. A consideration in this case, does a face, eyes topside… mouth below, lets the user know what side of the controller is up or down, so that it does not get twisted around into knots?
Nozzles might be designed direct the scent into a horizontally wider beam, due to side-to side head movement of some users in that group. Normally we direct scents toward a relative stationary nose zone.
Multisensory device tie-ins may be useful in dealing with multisensory deficit disorder, recently associated with autism. Colors, sound cues and scents will be selected for autistic children in particular, working in development with their teachers, healers and other facilitators.
We welcome inquires by any organization or individual interested in participating in this BETA program. Please contact us here.