Reducing challenging behavior through structured therapeutic intervention in the controlled multi-sensory environment (Snoezelen). Ten case studies

Meir Lotan, Meir Lotan, Meir Lotan, Christian Gold, Shira Yalon-Chamovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The challenging behavior of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) represents a major obstacle to the habilitation of this population, as well as one of the most erosive components for caretakers working with this population. The controlled multi-sensory approach (Snoezelen), which includes an adapted multisensory environment and an enabling therapist, is becoming increasingly popular in healthcare facilities for individuals with IDD, and considered to enable positive changes in an array of maladaptive behaviors in this population. However, reliable scientific evidence of Snoezelen efficacy is as yet relatively limited, which could be attributed to the non-structured format of traditional Snoezelen intervention that does not lend itself easily to quantitative research approaches. The Snoezelen Therapeutic Intervention (STI) presented here is a structured representation of the Snoezelen treatment framework, which maintains the original characteristics of the Snoezelen experience, while allowing for structured and scientifically valid research. The present study participants included ten adults with severe to moderate IDD, who exhibited a variety of challenging behaviors. Single-subject design with washout periods revealed measurable reduction in challenging behaviors, observed through significant long-standing change in behavior throughout the patient's daily routine. The controlled multi-sensory approach was found to be a useful tool in dealing with severe behavioral problems for individuals with severe to moderate intellectual disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-392
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Challenging behavior
  • Snoezelen
  • developmental disability
  • intellectual disability
  • multi-sensory environment
  • therapeutic Snoezelen intervention

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