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(Australia) Bundaberg: School adds sensory room for autistic students to calm/focus

Aug 18, 2021, Bundaberg Now: Gin Gin’s engine room helps students engage https://www.bundabergnow.com/2021/08/18/gin-gins-engine-room-helps-students-engage/

Gin Gin State School is leading the way in helping children with autism and other needs in a therapeutic space called The Engine Room. The Engine Room is a specialised gym that uses certain equipment and activities to help students engage, calm or focus themselves to be better prepared for learning and interacting with others. Bundaberg Occupational Therapy director Barb Ballinger said she believed Gin Gin’s Engine Room was one of the first in a state school in Queensland, and the benefits since it was incorporated had been tremendous. The Engine Room term comes from a course, Traffic Jam in my Brain, and was completed by one of the instigators of the room and parent Judy Fenn…. The Gin Gin room helps children to reset their engine to get themselves to a position where they are ready to learn…. “This room gives students, especially those with special needs or autism, a chance to get away when needed and destress when they become overwhelmed by noise or touch, for example,” Barb said…. Barb said although sensory rooms aimed to help specific students engage in the classroom, it was beneficial to all students. “After being in here, students are more focused; they can work better as they are ready to sit and learn,” Barb said…. “It works for both kids who have a lot of energy and can’t sit still and also for the kids who are tired, slumped down and can’t focus….