Anecdotally, Kaela Millar can tell you the transformations she’s seen happen at the multi-sensory lab at Mohawk College.
As the college’s only qualified multi-sensory lab technologist, Millar can share stories about the leisurely, companion-building sessions with residents of a local supportive housing program that have happened in the lab. There have been people with cerebral palsy, whose body movements and tremors slow significantly after just 10 minutes in the room. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or speech and language issues have used the lab’s colourful bubble tubes to indicate their favourite hues. Some of them have even been compelled to tell Millar with words instead of their usual gestures. One boy with ASD, who has been visiting the lab for over two years, has poor sleep patterns. The nights following a session with Millar are his most restful, his mother says. She’s also helped people with brain injuries to relax and, she thinks, potentially begin the process of healing by matching music and projected images to help develop new neurological pathways.