Sensory gardens, also called sensory-deprivation gardens, are special gardens designed for people with sensory processing disorders. A sensory-deprivation garden is basically a self-contained indoor garden space which allows visitors to experience a range of sensory experiences in an environment that does not normally provide such opportunities. Sensory-deprivation gardens are often designed to offer sensory experiences to improve a user’s sensory capabilities, either individually or in combination, and in ways that they may not normally experience.
Sensory-deprivation gardens may be designed for therapeutic purposes to enable people with sensory processing disorders to benefit from their sensory environment. These gardens often feature a combination of visual, auditory and tactile experiences, such as a flowerbed with a series of white lights shining on it.
Sensory-deprivation gardens can also be used to teach people with sensory processing disorders how to manipulate sensory environments to improve their ability to experience these environments. For example, many sensory-deprivation gardens include a series of lights that will vary in intensity depending on how much sensory stimulation a person wants to receive and this can be used to train people to recognize light and sounds or to develop their sense of touch and smell. Sensory-deprivation gardens are often used in training people who are blind, have developmental disabilities, are pregnant or are suffering from sensory processing disorders such as autism or other forms of developmental disorders.