Atsuko und Takuya Hashimoto

Visiting the affected area of Iwate prefecture using a Snoezelen van
2011- 07. 15 - 18
The Touhoku Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011.

Every day, we heard news that there were children who needed psychological care, and people who cannot sleep. We were considering doing something as part of our project, though we didn't know exactly what we, as fellow Japanese, could do.
We decided to reproduce the space that mimics a Snoezelen room with a relaxed atmosphere in a van. Then, we visited temporary housing in Kamaishi-city, Iwate-prefecture by van.

   

 

We kept in mind blocking off the sunlight and the car vibrations, and provided stimulation only through the equipment inside the car. People seemed to enjoy the room in their own way.

   

 

On this occasion, 43 people of varying age experienced that van.

(The breakdown of how many people and what they did in the Snoezelen van)

  • playing with toys ・・・・ (20 children and their guardians, 9)
  • taking a nap ・・・・ (5 people)
  • taking a hand massage ・・・・ (5 people)
  • just a relaxing ・・・・ (3 people)
  • having a chat with staff ・・・・ (1 person)
   

 

As a result, many children enjoyed lights, music and vibration, with their guardians or our staff. On the other hand, many adults dozed off a while inside the Snoezelen van.

Some people said‚ after the earthquake, they can't sleep well. One mother said, her baby has been crying since the earthquake, so she was worried about causing trouble to neighbors. And we witnessed the situation first hand and realized that there was no way for children to relax or play.

We heard that Snoezelen is used for children who have suffered from trauma in some countries. In Japan, Snoezelen for therapy is not as well known as it is in those countries. We have been trying to spread the concept and method of Snoezelen for many disciplines in Japan.

We hope we can provide Snoezelen continuously for such areas someday.

   

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