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N. Brunswick, NJ: "Sensory paths" halls "calm anxious and frustrated children"

Dec 29, 2019, Sensory paths encourage students at Judd Elementary School to ‘shake the sillies out’ NORTH BRUNSWICK – …“Shake the sillies out and get the wiggles out,” said Fran Alvarez, a Kindergarten teacher at Judd Elementary School. On Dec. 3, the staff at the North Brunswick school held a ribbon cutting for the school’s new sensory pathways,which are hallways that are outfitted with decals on the floor and walls to stimulate activity for all students…. “The cool, cool thing is that this is going to help so many of our kids,” Principal Joseph Schmidt said. Sensory paths encourage movement, building nerve connections within the brain’s neural pathways, triggering an inclination for and ability to complete complex learning tasks, Schmidt said. Language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, social interactions, problem-solving skills and memory functions are increased. It can also calm anxious and frustrated children, he said. The pathway near the classrooms for the children with autism has an entire sensory bulletin board that includes locks, a scratch pad, an old keyboard and calculator, a pinwheel, sponges and a tile to step on. Schmidt said the “therapeutic” activities are of different textures to stimulate the children. … There are also words on the walls for students who are non-verbal to touch and thus communicate…. “After you do the path it can make you more focused. If you have a hard time you can take a breather for two minutes and you can come back nice and relaxed,” fourth grader Aanya Malhotra said…. “Walking around school is not enough to help them come back and focus,” said Oliveri, whose two daughters have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She said her daughters have difficulty staying focused, since their bodies are trying to do the opposite of what they should, so they need to get the movement out. “I think if someone’s having trouble with something on a test or something they can take a break and go on the sensory path and can take a break and calm down and then go back,” fourth grader Nathaniel Updegraff said…. After getting permission from Schmidt, Scaturro said she presented the idea to a marketing representative, who just happens to have a son who is on the autism spectrum, and that person took the idea to corporate. “Farmers loves doing things for the community,” she said. “It was very rewarding for me as a parent and business owner to help the school obtain the $2,500 grant to implement the sensory path at Judd Elementary and help our community in any possible way we can.”…


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