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Multisensory Stimulation


  • A child’s potential is determined genetically but the experiences the child has of his environment will determine whether he will be able to achieve this potential.
  • He learns about the world through his nervous system within the environment provided to him by his care giver.
  • The nervous system is equipped with various senses
    • Sight or vision
    • Hearing
    • Touch
    • Smell
    • Taste
    • Proprioception ( position sense of muscles and joints)
    • Vestibular (balance)

Appropriate stimulation of these senses with loving and sensitive care will help the brain grow and :

  • Will encourage the development of a happy and emotionally secure child
  • Better prepare the child to face the challenges in life at home, in school and in future life
  • It is important to start stimulation activities as early as possible

Do all children need multisensory stimulation?

  • All children will benefit from multisensory stimulation.
  • It is particularly important in children with special needs to :
    • Minimize disability
    • Maximize potential
  • Stimulation should occur in daily activities between the child and care giver
  • Interaction should be warm, nurturing, responsive, filled with fun and enjoyable

What areas of development are enhanced by multisensory stimulation?

  • Multisensory stimulation helps children to develop various types of skills needed to be competent individuals.
  • It enhances mastery of different skills in many areas including :
  • Gross motor control (running, walking, jumping )
    • Fine motor control (writing, grasping, cutting)
    • Initiating and planning motor activities (playing badminton)
    • Emotional stability and security (calmer, happier)
    • Psychosocial skills (making friends)
    • Language skills (increase vocabulary)
    • Communication (better relationship)
    • Academic performance (ability to write)
    • Body awareness (ability to swim)
    • Muscle alertness (gymnastic)
    • Visual perception (archery)
    • Coordination and postural stability (cycling)

Activities that provide stimulation

  • Nurturing, dependable and responsive care that a child receives will help the child to develop and feel love, trust and comfort. This can happen through :
    • Frequent eye contact
    • Frequent physical contact
    • Gentle massage and touch
    • Loving cuddles
    • Responsive cooing
    • Gentle, simple descriptive talk
  • Daily activities of feeding, cleaning, bathing, changing nappies and other household activities
  • Contact with other adults and children that promotes acceptance and recognition of the child
  • A stimulating environment that allows learning through safe exploration
  • Age appropriate play, games and toys

Play as a medium of stimulation
With appropriate adult supervision and guidance, play serves an important role in a child’s development at different ages as it encourages different aspects of development :

  • Sensory (texture, shape, colour)
  • Social skill and values (cooperation, turn taking, waiting, winning and losing )
  • Cognitive (creativity, imagination, promotion of independence)
  • Emotion (expression of feelings, control of anger and frustration)
  • Values and moral (knowing right and wrong, understanding others, accepting others, learning forgiveness, learning sense of fairness)
Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Aminah binti Kassim
reviewer : Dr. Nor’Izam binti Md Alias