Muskogee, OK: Sensory room for SPED kids who "really need it"

Dec 19, 2017, Muskogee (OK) Phoenix: Sensory room allows students to focus Ben Franklin STEM Academy students with certain needs have a place to swing, watch bubbles, relax and focus better in class. BFSA teachers Carol Ford and Heather Lasson created a Sensory Room with items funded by a $4,000 Education Foundation of Muskogee grant. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. Ford, who teaches special education, said the room is geared for children with autism or sensory integration problems. Ford said BFSA has 25 children identified with certain needs who might use the room. "They have autism, they have intellectual disabilities, some are diagnosed with emotional disturbances, there is a lot of interconnectedness between the disabilities, as well," she said. "We're going to open it up to whoever would really need it." … BFSA paraprofessional Amanda Brown said the light cubes calms students "almost immediately." "When they are feeling overstimulated, we'll take them where they can get away from the noises and other stimuli," Brown said. "It just kind of brings them to a focus — focusing on this one thing. You can manipulate things on it if you want." Special education teacher Ethel Gault said she has seen how spending time in the room helped some students. She said some students calm down. One child, who is sedentary, gets moving while in the room, she said.