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Siloam Springs, AR: Elementary school gets sensory room; benefits kids with anxiety/autism

Jan 29, 2018, North Arkansas Democrat Gazette: NWA school adds sensory room Northside Elementary School installed a sensory room over the December break to give students a place to take a break. The room is often used with special needs students who have autism or other sensory processing disorders, but it can also benefit students who are anxious or have experienced trauma, according to Principal Michelle Paden. The room has 15 features that can be used to soothe students. Students can swing, jump on miniature trampolines or play with the sand table. They can lay down and cuddle in an inflatable pea-pod bed or under a weighted blanket, watch the bubble wall or crawl through a deep pressure roller. The room is calming with low lights, soft music and a scent diffuser. Some students can become overstimulated by loud and busy situations, such as the lunchroom, a fire drill or an assembly. … “That’s a whole lot of sensory input for them that they can’t handle,” Paden said. … “Some may not need to jump, some may need the roller, some may need the weighted blanket,” she said. Children gravitate most of the time toward the activity they need to calm their brain, Sarratt said. …

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