• "A Calming Place"

    This area will be located in the physical therapy room at Shaler Academy.  It will be used by students who have difficulty modulating behaviors due to sensory overload.  It will be under the supervision of a physical or occupational therapist and will be available to students throughout the day.
    Sensory Integration is a neurological process that organizes sensation from one's own body, from the environment and turns it into an appropriate motor and behavioral response.  It is estimated that as much as 84% of children on the autistic spectrum have significant sensory processing issues.
    Sensory Overload occurs when normal sensory experiences from the environment or within the child's nervous system itself become too great for a child to process or make meaning out of.  This may contribute to uncontrolled stereotypical behaviors, behavioral over reactions and difficulty focusing and maintaining attention.
    The "Calming Place" encloses the present area in the sensory room with a roof and a blackout curtain. Tiles on the ceiling will absorb sound.  This area contains the following:
    Deep proprioceptive input is available through the use of:
    Soft mat, large bean bag chairs, weighted sacks, "squish chair", and body sox
    Visual input is available through the use of:
    Visual light machine (three types), black light, soft lighted objects, and use of flashlights/lantern
    Sound input will occur with introduction of:
    Specific calming music/rhythms chosen by the therapist - headphones will be available
    Vestifular input will be introduced with:
    "Squish chair", rocking chair, air discs, therapy balls/peanut