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Caddo Parish, LA: Middle school opens "autism sensory room"; 'place to go and de-escolate'

Jan 20, 2023, KTAL, Shreveport, LA: Autism sensory room opens at Donnie Bickham Middle School

On Thursday, a Caddo Parish school celebrated helping children with autism overcome unique challenges.

Inside the home of the Patriots at Donnie Bickham Middle School is a special classroom that has been transformed into a sensory experience. With glowing lights, changing colors, and activities to distract and ultimately put kids back on track. It’s called an autism sensory room.
It’s filled with unique features called sensory guides created especially for those with autism.

“It’s so beneficial for a school environment because of the uniqueness of the room. No longer are the days where we have to send kids home or call the parent if we have a kid who may be having some challenging behaviors. We can determine, based on their regulation zone, if they are overly excited or underlying excited. Or what we need to do to provide support,” said Executive Director of the Dept. of Exceptional Children for Caddo Parish Schools Dr. Sheila Lockett.

The teacher’s organization, Red River United, secured a grant from the American Federation of Teachers to partner with Caddo Parish schools to fund the project. Leaders came together Thursday for a ribbon cutting to celebrate its opening….

“It really gives a place for students to go and de-escalate. To have a moment of silence to re-gather themselves as they go throughout their school day. So it gives them a place where they can be themselves,” said Executive vice president of Red River United Jordan Thomas….

Dr. Goree says they will monitor the progress of the sensory room with hopes of bringing more spaces like it to other schools.


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