Jasper, AL: 'a growing number...with sensory and behavioral disorders, social disorders'

Dec 13, 2017, Jasper (AL) Daily Mountain Eagle: New program to meet special needs of students in county schools,13959 A new classroom in the Walker County Schools system is specially designed to serve a growing population in the learning community. … At a school board meeting in October, Director of Student Services Butch Sargent pleaded for board members to approve the new classroom, which will serve students across the county who may benefit from a specialized educational environment. … The classroom will serve students in first through eighth grades with special needs and autism, and the board has invested in sensory equipment for the classroom, a special needs bus to transport students and necessary personnel. Adkins said the board is funding $340,000 through the general fund for the program, and hopes the Alabama State Department of Education will grant that amount back through a catastrophic funds allocation. … Taylor said the new sensory equipment in the classroom provides stimuli that will enhance learning. The sensory items light up, glow in the dark and have interesting textures that intrigue students and foster improved behaviors.... “This classroom is set up for those students county-wide who are having difficulty learning in [already established special education classrooms],” Taylor said, adding that she is thankful to be able to serve students in a new learning environment designed specifically for their needs. … “We have a growing number — just like every other school system in the state — of children with senory and behavioral disorders, social disorders and mental health disorders. This is just one way to have a systematic approach to solving some of those deep, very problematic issues that nobody really has an answer to,” Adkins said. “It’s the responsible thing to do that’s not only possible but also very appropriate and necessary.”