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DuBois, PA: Methodist church provides 'sensory room' for ASD kids 'in the midst of a meltdown'

Updated: Jul 25, 2018

July 23, 2018, DuBois (PA) Courier Express: A SAFE PLACE: Local church creates sensory room for children with autism http://www.thecourierexpress.com/news/a-safe-place-local-church-creates-sensory-room-for-children/article_37ffd790-bdd7-5924-ae07-4d8d81b2e916.html (Photo: “weighted caterpillar") A local church has taken a big step in making a difference for families and children with autism, giving them a place to feel safe. Lakeside United Methodist Church recently became the first church in the area to incorporate a “sensory room” into its facility. … … Everything in it was put there for a reason — the sparkling lights and reflective CD discs on the walls and cabinet, the bubbling fish lava lamp and the popcorn and bean sandbox. Touching dry-texture items like popcorn kernels or the rocking motion of a rocking chair tend to be calming for children with autism, according to Fetzer. … There is a “weighed caterpillar” stuffed animal the children can hold, since feeling something heavy in their hands can also be helpful, she said…. Parents who have children with autism or other disabilities often have trouble fitting in or getting themselves involved socially in a community, since these children can sometimes act out if they are triggered by something like light or loud noises. … “If they are in the midst of a meltdown, this room is here,” Fetzer said. “It will help them think of something besides what made them angry.”