Sensory Pathway

Children’s of Alabama understands that the hospital can be stressful for children and adolescents who respond differently to the sensory inputs of their environment. The Sensory Pathway at Children’s of Alabama offers your child resources to decrease sensory overload experienced during their hospital visit. Once your child is placed on the Sensory Pathway, tools and resources will be used to help support his/her sensory needs. Staff in all areas where the Sensory Pathway is active are trained in effective ways to communicate and work with patients who have sensory sensitivities.

Sensory Pathway: Patient Information

  • The Sensory Pathway is available to any patient who feels that the sensory experiences of the hospital are overwhelming or difficult.
  • Patients with a pre-existing diagnosis such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, or other sensory processing issues are eligible for placement on the Sensory Pathway during their hospital visit.
  • If you believe your child could benefit from the services and resources provided by the Sensory Pathway, please let your nurse or other care provider know upon arrival or at any point during your child’s hospital visit.

Sensory Pathway: Tools and Resources Available to Support Your Child's Sensory Needs

  • Noise canceling headphones, weighted lap pads, fidget tools.
    • Please ask your nurse or other healthcare team member for a full list of tools.
  • Social stories are used to help your child understand upcoming procedures or events that may be experienced throughout their hospital stay. These social stories are available on each sensory supported unit and can also be accessed via the Sensory Pathway social stories webpage.
  • Child Life services can be used to decrease stress and help your child cope with his/her hospital stay.
    • Provide age appropriate education
    • Use activities to support and prepare your child

Sensory Pathway: Supported Areas

  • Emergency Department
  • One Day Surgery: Benjamin Russell, Lowder, South
  • 10 Harbert Floor (10H)
    • Orthopedics, Neurology, Rehab, Epilepsy Monitoring, and Medical Surgical 
  • 10 Quarterback Floor (10QB)
    • Pulmonary
  • 9 Harbert Floor (9H)
    • Renal, Urology, GI, Endocrine, and Solid Organ Transplant 
  • 9 Quarterback Floor (9QB)
    • Medical Surgical
  • Burn Unit
  • 8 Quarterback Floor (8QB)
    • Inpatient Oncology/Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Special Care Unit
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Inpatient Cardiology and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit 
  • Lab

Chelsea Brown, CCLS
Sensory Pathway Coordinator 

1600 7th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35233