Monday, January 30, 2012

Special Needs Autism: Multisensory Room

By GARY WARTH gwarth@nctimes.com | Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:00 pm

The soothing music, soft lights and pleasant aromas in the room would leave almost anyone with a calm and peaceful feeling, but they are having an especially positive effect on some students in special classes at two Escondido high schools.

"See the student who's rocking?" San Pasqual High classroom assistant Richard Shannon said Monday, as he pointed to a boy lurching back and forth in his chair. "We put him in there for the first time for a half hour, and he just sat and enjoyed it. That's the first time in about three years where he just sat still."
The Escondido Union High School District spent about $30,000 in federal stimulus money last year to create special "sensory rooms" at San Pasqual and Escondido high schools for the Specialized Transitions Adult Resource Training program, which teaches work and life skills to special-needs students ages 18 to 22.

EUHSD Special Education Director Susan Davis said she doesn't know of other public school districts that have created similar rooms for special-needs students, and she has heard of them in private schools.

"It's been shown to help them calm down, deal with their emotions and get 'reset,'" Davis said about the rooms' effects on disabled people.

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