The Sensory Arts Garden sets a precedent for highly specialized outdoor environments for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The 13,000 square feet garden allows the Els for Autsim Foundation to expand arts integration for people of all ages and abilities, by designing and programming a “creative place”, which can be experienced via touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and movement.
The sensory arts garden will be both therapeutic and educational for children and adults, especially for those with sensory processing challenge, by providing a meaningful experience through the exploration of nature. The design will allow all visitors to engage with nature in their own way, on their own terms and at their own pace. Lush “garden rooms” offer focused sensory input using custom-designed accessible planters, seating and selected plants. Apart from the “garden rooms”, “places away” offer an intimate and calming sensory experience for group or individual use. Furnishings, sculptural elements, and plants are carefully considered for their efficacy, appropriateness and safety.