Lorraine Thomas (English)

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Lorraine is the Snoezelen Coordinator at Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre, which is Ontario's largest children's rehabilitation facility and one of Canada's leading pediatric facilities. It provides highly specialized hospital care, outpatient clinics and community outreach programs to about 6,500 children and their families each year.

Lorraine has worked exclusively in Snoezelen for the past four years, two of which were at Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre. She coordinates the community based Snoezelen room and Snoezelen pool programs, and is responsible for the development of education and research on Snoezelen. As a certified trainer for Flaghouse Canada, Lorraine provides workshops for caregivers interested in accessing the community Snoezelen room. She also goes out into the community to educate schools and organizations on Snoezelen.

Lorraine was responsible for developing the first Snoezelen pool in North America, which opened in October 2002 at Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre. In April 2004, the Snoezelen Pool program was awarded the provincial "Aquatic Award of Excellence" by Parks and Recreation Ontario, in recognition of Bloorview MacMillan's commitment to improving the quality of life of clients by encouraging community participation.

Lorraine has presented on Snoezelen at numerous national and international conferences, including the first and second International Snoezelen Symposiums in 2002 (Germany) and 2003 (Holland) as well as at the Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services and the Ontario Division for Physical and Health Disabilities. She has visited a number of Snoezelen facilities in Canada and overseas, including Locksheath Day Services in England and de Hartenburg Centre in Ede, Holland. She is currently focusing on the development of a universal snoezelen scale for assessment that can be used by therapists and intervenors.


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