The Imagination Station is a specific kind of sensory room known as a Snoezelen Room. Coined in the ’70s by two Dutch therapists, the Dutch hybrid word — pronounced “snooze-a-lin” — directly translates as “sniffing and dozing” but in practice means something more like exploring and relaxing. The Imagination Station is the only Snoezelen Room in Vermont, and one of a handful in New England.
The most important part of the Snoezelen experience is not the equipment, but the control children have over it. Most treatment for kids on the autism spectrum involves helping them adjust to society’s rules and expectations. But in a Snoezelen Room, kids get to create an environment tailored specifically to them.
The Imagination Station was the brainchild of Randy Lamberti, cofounder of the Autism Puzzle Foundation. Lamberti, a financial adviser, was inspired to help families affected by autism. The Autism foundation Board donated upwards of $75,000 for Snoezelen Room equipment; WCMHS used its own funds and in-house staff to transform a former storage area into the Imagination Station, which is dedicated to the memory of Lamberti’s late mother, Kay.
How to access Imagination Station
Everyone who uses the room needs to be trained. The room can be booked from 9:00-3:30 in 1 hour blocks, M-F when the agency is open, which will be for providers within WCMHS, from other agencies and schools. The schedule for all of these hours is in an outlook calendar. Trainings and room time can be booked by calling Mary Thompson-Veren Marytv@wcmhs.org at Wellspace phone# 479-4055. Bookings are typically being scheduled for a 45 minute hour to leave 15 minutes for set up, shut off and clean up. There is no cost for WCMHS staff to use Imagination Station. Non-WCMHS service providers have a few options see fees below.
Yearly membership fee = $200.00 includes one guaranteed available timeslot each week for the year. Non-membership uses are only $10.00 per use.
- One person cost = $45
- Groups of 5 and more= $200.00
Room use…book 7 days in advance. (I.e. if you have a 9 -10am booking, you may rebook after that has been used- not rebook it consecutively- not to be confused with the guaranteed booking included with optional membership)
- One person with one support staff= $10.00
- Group of 3 = $15.00
- One person cost= $20.00
- Groups of over 5=$10.00 per person
Room use= $10.00*
*If this fee causes a hardship, please talk to us about helping you find resources to make sure that this will not reduce your child’s access to this room.