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March 16, 2024 2 min read

MindScent®, the innovative multi-sensory kit that Ruth Sutcliffe developed in 2018 includes a Methods For Use on the inside flap of the tool kit's packaging.  The comprehensive list of uses were identified by Speech Pathologists who used the distinctive scents and matching visual clue cards during the testing period before final development was completed and manufactured in early 2019. 

Ruth has often said that the development of MindScent® was a "mind-boggling operational and expensive project" because of all the components involved (125 total), but was something she felt she had a responsibility to complete. Having a daughter on the autism spectrum motivated her to create the Smell.Discover.Connect tool kit for a population of people who she feels have often been misunderstood, underserved and ignored by the general population. "It was a project of passion and from the heart, and I have always felt as a fragrance designer, that the use of scent should be more than a delivery of freshness or communication of emotions for perfumes, household and personal care products, but should also act as a vehicle for wellbeing...in other words, scent therapy."

While designing this educational and speech communication tool kit, Ruth  maintained the concept that the kit should be like any tool kit:  An all-in-one easy-to-use product, so one of the components is a schematic that shows the placement of each of the distinctive scents (chocolate, campfire, grass, etc.,) in a platform/holder that is inserted within the outer packaging, if the SLP or Educator works remotely. Feedback from Speech Therapists who have used the kit say that they especially love the kit because it's "comprehensive" and adds a multi-sensory level to the therapy.  

The kits can also be used to help guide storytelling, and the visual clue cards include fun facts such as the following 2 of 6 for The Smell of Watermelon: 1) There are more than 1,200 varieties of watermelon grown worldwide and 2) Watermelons have been cultivated in Egypt for more than 5,000 years.

The following is one review from a Speech Pathologist in Louisiana who was one of the professional testers during the development of MindScent®:  "I enjoy using this kit with my speech-language therapy students. It cultivates various language opportunities from not only describing the actual scents, but also what it reminds us of. The possibilities for language opportunities are endless!" It allows us to use the sense of smell, which is something I've never been able to use in speech therapy prior. We can target things such a using a communication device or generating high level writing activities, which has been an exciting way to meet goals!"

 

 

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