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Iowa City, IA: Parents create 'calm kits' for ASD students in all city schools

Dec 4, 2019, Iowa City (IA) Citizen: 'From crisis to calm': Parents create kits to make classes more accessible https://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/education/2019/12/04/from-crisis-calm-parents-create-kits-make-class-more-accessible/4229000002/ The details may seem small, but this duo of parents sweats the small details when it comes to these objects. Their organization, Iowa City Autism Community, spent the last year carefully curating “calm kits,” storage boxes stuffed with sensory objects, yoga booklets and feeling charts educators can turn to when a student with sensory concerns feels overwhelmed. Now every school in Iowa City community and many schools across greater Johnson County have their own calm kits. "Kids on the edge of the spectrum do have a different different neurology, they do experience things differently physically, through all of their senses," explains Witherell. "So we tried to put together a culmination of things that would cater to at least someone's special sensory needs." Want to help put calm kits in schools? Reach out to the group on Facebook or at icautismcommunity@gmail.com The boxes are filled to the brim. In choosing the items, organizers consulted the Grant Wood Area Education Agency and Bashara scoured Amazon reviews. The cost of outfitting dozens of schools is about $1,300. … "I did use the breathing figure 8 with a student the other day," Richards said. "Just taking deep breaths can be a helpful way to go from crisis to calm."…

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