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What Sensory Rooms Do 

February 25, 2016
Plain English Version
sensory room

Sensory room.

Kids come to school with unlimited energy. One of the challenges faced by teachers is to get kids to calm down and pay attention.

It is most important in classrooms with children who have autism or Asperger’s syndrome. The news is that classroom settings that work for these kids also work with most children.

More schools are setting up sensory rooms. Sensory rooms use of objects like lights, rocking chairs, pressure mats, thick elastic bands and wet sand to calm children.

Sensory rooms deal with visual, hearing, tactile, emotional and physical issues. They use movement, pressure and the senses such as touch.

Teachers have found a five-minute sensory room visit can help just about any student. Calmer students do better. They can return to the regular classroom.

If your child is in elementary school, chances are he or she will visit a sensory room. The child may gaze at a bubble light or finger the lighted plastic fiber optic strands. He or she may play with a small toy called a fidget or swing in a swing.

It is a new era for the class clown, the daydreamer, the agitated and the lethargic. Teachers in the old days sent to the hall or worse. These days, they go to the sensory room. It calms a student or stimulates, depending on the need.

“We are getting better at individualized instruction,” said a teacher. Different tools address different issues. The regular swing helps kids let off steam. The cocoon swing, which looks like a vertical hammock, is comforting.

The movement to establish sensory rooms is growing. It is especially useful in schools in urban areas.

Source: The Washington Times February 20, 2016

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