Soothing Distraction for Patients with Autism Introduced at Children’s Hospital

A new mobile unit designed to help soothe and distract pediatric patients with sensory processing disorders is now in place at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital.

A colorful, bubbling column containing balls and beads that circulate throughout the unit, the Vecta Mobile Sensory Station helps pediatric patients, especially those on the autism spectrum, cope during a potentially stressful hospital experience.

With its trifold mirror configuration and top-mounted ceiling projector, the machine is a true multisensory experience. It features a diffuser with soothing aromatherapy fragrances, 100 fiber-optic tails where patients can have a more tactile experience and three-inch music speakers for auditory stimulation.

“A lot of patients respond really well to the cart,” said Lauren Pierce, child life specialist. “It actually helps some patients de-escalate and return to a baseline if they’re in a heightened state of stress and agitation.”

Child Life Specialist Haley Hutchings described the Vecta cart as “soothing” and “calming” for her patients. The unit is used across three inpatient units and the pediatric emergency room. Hutchings said patients, on occasion, ask for it specifically to be brought right to their rooms upon admission.