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Helena, AL: Police provide "mobile sensory room"; 'There's 1 in 6 that has need'

Dec 27, 2021 , CBS42, Helena, AL: Helena Police Department debuts new sensory room to help children with special needs https://www.cbs42.com/birmingham-community/helena-police-department-debuts-new-sensory-room-to-help-children-with-special-needs/

A new mobile sensory room is now available to to children and adults with special need across Shelby County. The Helena Police Department has formed a partnership with Culture City, a local nonprofit organization that addresses needs for those with sensory issues due to autism or PTSD. Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn said the room is something many parents with special needs children have been pushing for within the community. Some of the benefits of the sensory room include a calm atmosphere. The trailer has numerous different lights with very soft colors and bean bags for children to sit in, as well as games mounted on the walls to help them focus. Flynn, whose own son has sensory issues, said there is a great need for a sensory room trailer in Shelby County. “There’s 1 in 6 individuals in our country right now that has some sort of sensory need like autism, PTSD, early on set dementia anything like that,” Flynn said. “You factor in 1 in 6 in a community of our size of approximately 20,000 people that’s a lot of people and we want to make them feel welcome.” The department plans to make the room available at big events in the community as a form of escape for people with special needs.