Sept 10, 2018, Syracuse (NY) News Eagle: Fab Labs, sensory classrooms new to Cazenovia schools https://www.eaglenewsonline.com/news/new/schools/2018/09/10/fab-labs-sensory-classrooms-new-to-cazenovia-schools/ … Hoping to introduce a new, innovative way of learning with more hands-on, sensory-driven activities and new technologies, Cazenovia has added two new sensory classrooms and two new Fab Labs to the district. According to Matt Erwin, director of facilities at the Cazenovia School District, creating two new sensory classrooms, one at Burton Street Elementary and another at the middle school was inspired from a trip taken by about a dozen district staff members to SUNY Cortland to see a sensory gym. Erwin said the district recognized the potential these spaces could hold and decided to experiment with the concept. These colorful classrooms are intended to promote focus, participation and creativity by allowing students to use their senses in a more hands-on learning environment. These classrooms include smartboards, height-adjustable whiteboard flipper tables, an outdoor space for a “more flexible environment,” stackable chairs to allow for more space and a “cozy corner” with LED lights, he said. These “cozy corners,” said District Occupational Therapist Nicole Russo, are especially useful for higher-need students who need to destress without leaving the classroom and or “just need the quiet space with a calming atmosphere for them to really hone in and focus,” she said. “We just want to provide them with that safe space to calm down,” said Russo. … Teachers can sign out these sensory classrooms and bring their classes in to “engage in a more active classroom setting,” and can be especially useful for classes where special needs students are intermixed, potentially offering a better seating arrangement or different way of learning for those students, said Erwin….
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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