Therapeutic Recreation Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Hours: 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday
703-324-5532 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, 10th Floor
Fairfax, VA 22035
Sandi Dallhoff

Sensory Rooms

Sensory Room

Sensory Rooms provide a person-centered, safe and nurturing environment designed to enhance the quality of life for individuals of all ages—and particularly those with physical and intellectual disabilities—through structured interaction and engagement with the room’s unique features. By nature, sensory rooms are relaxing and calming environments that offer a variety of sights, sounds and interactive elements that promote stress-free engagement and physical and intellectual development—especially for young children and individuals with disabilities. A vibrant combination of lights, sounds, textures, touch pads, swings and much more offer a variety of opportunities to explore while experiencing physical and intellectual benefits including:

    • Improved communication and social skills
    • Enhanced concentration, focus and memory
    • Promotes leisure education
    • Reduced stress


Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services has three sensory rooms available for public use:  

Jim Scott (formerly Providence) Community Center
Address: 3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax VA 22031
Phone: 703-865-0520, TTY 711
The Jim Scott Community Center Sensory Room is located on the second floor of the Jim Scott Community Center at 3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031. The Sensory Room offers a full slate of weekly programs including group sessions, 1:1 sessions and special themed programs for a variety of ages and abilities. All programs are led and/or supervised by full-time Inclusion Coordinator, who is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, as well as part-time staff trained in how to utilize the room. All programs and sessions are scheduled through the Inclusion Coordinator. Please see the list below for more information on Jim Scott Community Center's Sensory Room. To make an appointment and to inquire more about this space, please contact the Jim Scott Community Center.

Lorton Community Center
9520 Richmond Highway, Lorton, VA 22079
Phone: 703-550-7195, TTY 711
Lorton Community Center opened on October 15, 2022, and features a small sensory room with some of the same features available at Jim Scott Community Center. Please call the center to inquire about availability. 

Sully Community Center
Address: 13800 Wall Road, Herndon, VA 20171
Phone: 703-322-4475, TTY 711
Sully Community Center opened on September 17, 2023, and features a small sensory room with some of the same features available at Jim Scott Community Center. Please call the center to inquire about availability. 


Lights and SoundsThe below features are available at Jim Scott Community Center. Select features are available at other locations. Call for availability. 

  • Lights: The Sensory room is filled with a variety of lighting effects that help set a relaxing and engaging environment – from projected wall lights and floor lighting to fiber optic light strands and the very popular bubble tubes.
  • Sounds: The “trickling” sound of water through the bubble tubes definitely helps set a calming environment in the room, but there is also a variety of musical and fun sounds associated with many of our interactive features.
  • Touch Screens: Our large “Megapods” and “the Cube” (a large interactive floor mat) offer an interactive experience with games and images.
  • Touch/Texture Wall Boards: A wonderful way to develop cognitive and motor skills as well as experiment with new textures, shapes and sounds.
  • Floor Piano Mat: “Tickle the ivory” with your toes - there’s no more exciting way to make music through movement.
  • Swinging Chairs: A great way to get that relaxing “hammock” feeling indoors.
  • Musical Chairs: Enjoy musical tunes when you curl up on the floor on one of our vibro-accoustic bean bag chairs or take a turn in the "Sound Shell" chair.

Kids in the Sensory Room"I visited the (Jim Scott, formerly Providence, Community Center) Sensory Room on the very first day it opened. It was so peaceful and quiet and I felt relaxed just being in the room. Then I started to have a regular session [at the Sensory Room]. Using the various activities, I could tell that my concentration and my fine motor skills were getting stronger. I came home from each session feeling less stress and tightness in my body. Even after two years I enjoy working out in the Sensory Room."      
- Ryan Cotnoir


"From the very first day, I could tell how much Ryan enjoyed the atmosphere and the activities in the (Jim Scott Community Center) Sensory Room. [NCS Staff] quickly assessed Ryan’s abilities, and by focusing on his strengths encouraged him to try new ways to improve his coordination and relax his muscle tone. Ryan would come away from each session with a sense of calm and accomplishment. Our family appreciates the commitment Fairfax County has made to provide innovative and adaptable modalities through the Community Center programs which benefit the mental and physical health of all members of the community."      
– Mary Cotnoir


"I started taking my son to the Sensory Room at Jim Scott when he was 16 months old. It was great to see him explore the cause-and-effect features right away. It was a perfect environment to observe his strengths and developmental needs away from the familiar home setting. The features of the room provided numerous opportunities for self-exploration and growth. My son has benefitted greatly from his experience in different programs at the Sensory Room and at 30 months still enjoys its different features."         

- Poornima, Vienna, VA

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