SALT LAKE CITY - Twenty-five Utah families toured a room filled with toys, bells, and colorful bubbles Wednesday.
Vivint Smart Home Arena built a $60,000 Sensory Room for children and adults on the autism spectrum.
“Everything in the room is built with the intention of either stimulating or calming different senses,” explained Holly Mero-Bench, Vivint Gives Back Director. “It’s just a calming atmosphere to get their body back into regular functioning so they can go back and enjoy the game after they’ve had a break.”
Lara Pratt brought her two sons, 10-year-old Max Pratt and 9-year-old Jackson Pratt—both of whom are on the spectrum. The Pratt boys played with all the toys and instruments inside the new room. The iPad games definitely kept them occupied the longest.
Max also jumped on the mini trampoline and lifted some weights to show everyone his strength. But the real excitement was when Vivint brought in Jazz Center Rudy Gobert.
“I’m excited to meet him and I know how tall he is, he is 7-feet and 1-inch,” Max said.
When Gobert came into meet the families he also became a part of the Sensory Room. Max did not stop practicing his balance on a balancing toy while Gobert and him talked about school and how tall Gobert was when he was in the fourth grade, like Max is now.
“I don’t remember,” Gobert said. “…I’d have to ask my mom, maybe.”
Gobert took time to high-five and meet the families.
“What better way to welcome them to their Sensory Room in their arena than by having one of our awesome players come in help do that for us,” Mero-Bench said.
The Sensory Room will be open to the public during events and games starting March 30.