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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 differences 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

  • Sensory tools such as noise canceling headphones, weighted lap pads, and fidget tools are available to help your child remain regulated during his/her visit.
    • Please ask your nurse or other healthcare team member for a full list of tools.
  • Social Stories
    • 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
    • Child life specialists are available in certain areas to help decrease stress and encourage positive coping during your child's hospital visit.

Sensory Pathway: Supported Areas

Inpatient Areas:

  • 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
  • General Inpatient Pediatrics (Dearth 5, 6, and 7)
  • Special Care Unit
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Inpatient Cardiology and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

Outpatient Areas:

  • Interventional Radiology
  • Cardiac Cath Lab
  • Children's on 3rd PT and OT/Speech and Hearing
  • McWane Outpatient PT and OT
  • Primary Care Clinic
  • Emergency Department
  • One Day Surgery: Benjamin Russell, Lowder, South
  • Lab (Main Campus)
  • Endocrine Clinic
  • Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Medicine Clinic
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic
  • Outpatient Ultrasound

Sensory Pathway: Feedback

Feedback is an important part of the growth and development of the Sensory Pathway at Children’s of Alabama. If your child has received support through the Sensory Pathway during a recent visit, please take a moment to share your feedback.

Take the Survey

Chelsea Brown, CCLS, CAS
Sensory Pathway Coordinator 

1600 7th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35233