Erica and Ryan Rhett are busy people.

The Lancaster couple has three boys: Hayden, Sawyer and Lincoln, all born in just five years.

Given the diagnosis of a rare genetic disease for their senior, Hayden, “busy” seems an understatement.

“We don’t have much help for Hayden outside of his usual nursing hours Monday through Friday,” Erica says. “Everyone is intimidated by the care that Hayden requires.”

Hayden, who is now 7 years old, was diagnosed with Drave syndrome eight months after his first attack when he was just two months old. Genetic disease is essentially a form of epilepsy that causes severe prolonged seizures that cause many different triggers.

In addition to seizures, Hayden’s parents noticed developmental delays, struggles in behavior and several other problems. They sought answers from doctors and teachers, resulting in a diagnosis of autism.

Hayden is taking several medications to try to reduce the number of daily seizures. He recently underwent a procedure to place a vagus nerve stimulant under his skin to help treat epilepsy, and he is following a ketogenic diet plan prescribed by Philadelphia Children’s Hospital.

But the tip of one of the nurses who go to school with Hayden, started Eric on a new course of therapy for her son.

The nurse told her how much she liked Hayden being in the sensory room that his teacher Beth Kimbel had made for her class in the school district of Lafayette Elementary School in Lancaster.

“She’s just amazing,” says Erica of Kimbel. “A good, patient and just incredible teacher for children who really need the lessons and life skills she teaches them.”

Erica decided to turn Hayden’s bedroom into an oasis at home, where he can relax, be curious, touch objects, feel different textures, see colors and soothing light – all this is therapeutic for him.

“I didn’t want to get rid of the excitement and reward he felt going to Miss Kimbel’s room at school,” Erica says, “but I wanted our house to have a place that could help him be calm in the evening. he reads or makes cards and it’s just a good place for him to relax and unwind. ”

Erica calls the theme of the room “Sensory Cold”.

“I used several different colors of soothing blue on the walls because blue is Hayden’s favorite color,” says Erica.

The room has several types of low light functions, everything from string lanterns to a lava lamp.

It also necessarily included many textures, such as faux fur rugs and pillows of all shapes, sizes and fabrics.

On the walls in Hayden’s room there is a set of small mirrors as well as a wooden “H” that Erica covered with beads, fabric and textured paper as an extra element that promotes touch and helps Hayden develop.

Making changes that promote recovery and reduce stress in your home is not limited to children like Hayden.

While the world struggled to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, many people sought to turn their homes into soothing places to rest, meditate and relax.

In fact, the American Institute for Stress offers tips on how to achieve a low-stress home that can help change your life both at home and outside.

For starters, says AIS, create a room dedicated to relaxation. Space can be anywhere in your home: bedroom, office or free room.

Allocating space can not only facilitate the process of relaxation, but also promote self-care practices such as yoga or meditation. Even if the space is used briefly every day, visiting a lounge can help reduce stress symptoms.

Here are three tips to get you started:

Choose calm colors: While many of us focus on choosing wall colors, when painting for relaxation your color choices can be a significant factor in creating a casual atmosphere. According to AIS, “Gentle natural shades are best for both walls and furniture. A calm light blue or green theme can work wonders, as can other muted tones such as white. Try not to have conflicting colors or too bright themes. ”

Clean your house: Since your brain can’t concentrate when it is surrounded by too many distractions, it’s clear that clutter can interfere with your performance, which in itself can be stressful, especially for those who work from home. Clutter can also reduce your ability to think creatively.

Add houseplants: AIS says that “adding greenery to your home can brighten up a place and bring extra character. It also gives you something to focus your attention on. Various studies have been conducted on the benefits of having houseplants and flowers in the house, so try adding a few in different rooms. ”

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