How Sensory Rooms in Schools Can Help Students

Date: 11/05/2017     Category: Schools     Tags: Outdoor Classroom, Therapy Rooms

Schools can be noisy, busy places. For some, the sheer volume of stimuli can all get too much, making the school environment a stressful and disturbing place at times. The creation of sensory rooms in schools is a practical and effective way to provide calming and safe spaces for pupils with autism and other special educational needs.

Which pupils can benefit from a sensory room?

A sensory room is a valuable addition to any school or nursery. Providing an essential therapeutic environment for children with a range of special educational needs, the sensory room can also act as a calming space for pupils experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Children on the autism spectrumSensory Rooms in Schools

There are an estimated 1 in 100 people on the autism spectrum in the UK – so a school with 500 pupils is likely to have 5 or more pupils with autism at any one time. While autism affects every individual differently, difficulty processing sensory information is a common characteristic of the condition.  Sensory issues can either involve hypersensitivity – where too much stimulus is difficult to cope with – or hyposensitivity, where pupils don’t experience the same level of intensity as others. Sensory rooms in schools can help autistic children to deal with all kinds of sensory sensitivities in a relaxing and calming yet stimulating environment.

Students with learning difficulties

Learning comes in many forms. Equipped with mirrors, bean bags, cushions, mats, lights and tactile toys, a sensory room provides a unique and stimulating learning environment for children with learning difficulties. Interaction with sensory stimuli can help children to develop their sight, sound, touch and hearing, as well as encouraging independence.

Children with developmental delays or sensory impairments

A sensory room provides both physical and mental stimulus for children with physical disabilities, developmental delays and sensory impairments. Through the use of sensory equipment it can help children to develop a range of skills including:

  • hand-eye coordination
  • fine and gross motor skills
  • colour recognition
  • communication
  • sensory skills

Pupils with behavioural issues

Dealing with behavioural issues can be a challenge, but sensory rooms in schools are an effective and chilled-out way to work with children on regulating their behaviour. The calming environment allows pupils to work through any difficult emotions in a safe and supportive space, together with a member of staff. A sensory environment could also be used as ELSA room, a place to provide emotional support to the whole school population.

Finding a suitable space

modular school buildingsMost schools are short of space. So where can a sensory room be situated? An ideal solution is a quiet, separate outdoor modular building, based away from the noise and activity of the main school building. Quick and practical to install on existing school grounds, modular sensory rooms can enable every school to accommodate autistic students and others with SEN through the installation of sensory environments.

 

If you would like to find out more about building a modular sensory room for your school, contact us today for a free consultation.

Join our online community where we share best practice ideas and latest news