This past Friday, myself and Tom got a chance to drive down to Bridgeport CT and visit the Montano Assistive Technology Center and learn about how they have used sensory based interventions to help children with autism, Cerebral Palsy, and other neurological disabilities.
We got in touch with Phoebe Tucker, who is the director, because the Center is home to not one, but TWO multi-sensory environments. Phoebe is actually a Speech Language Therapist and assistive technology specialist, who has over the years come to believe in using sensory practices to help augment language-based learning.
Phoebe’s passion and belief in sensory based interventions was clear from the minute we arrived at the center. After offering us some iced tea and pastries, she took myself and Tom on a tour showing us her two sensory rooms first (the “white room” and the “black room“), then demo-ing some of the communication technology she uses for speech language therapy. One of the coolest pieces of technology was a virtual reality system which displays interactive environments on the floor or the wall. Phoebe explained that using sensory based interventions, like the deep pressure that Vayu vest provides, can be used to take “sensory breaks” from the speech therapy; she’s found that combining therapies leads to better outcomes. She talked about how deep pressure has provided benefit to many of her clients and showed us the “steamroller” squeeze machine that they often use. Her commitment to technology was also clear given all the awesome high-tech equipment she has invested in.
Tom and I showed off the Vayu vest for the Montano team, and Phoebe was eager to try it on. Despite being a child’s large she tried it on… and then wore it for the rest of the meeting. She shared stories about a number of clients they treat at the Montano Center who look for and benefit from deep pressure therapy and thought the Vayu vest would be beneficial.
All in all, it was a great visit. We were thrilled to meet some people who are as passionate about deep pressure and sensory based interventions as we are and we look forward to working with the Montano Center in the future.