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Northfield, NJ: School opens first "sensory room"; reduces stress/aggression

Such sensory rooms since have spread around the world. First many catered to autistic children, but soon therapists and educators realized that they also benefited those with vision or language difficulties, learning disabilities and emotional challenges. More uses were found for them and a realization was reached: These carefully designed and equipped spaces to meet the needs of the most challenging students are also effective in many ways for all children. The Northfield Community School last month officially opened its new and permanent sensory room. It’s equipped with weighted balls, balance balls, mats, cozy spots for reading, a platform swing, and things to climb on, touch and feel. Under the supervision of a teacher, aide or occupational therapist, children can redirect their energies and become more receptive to learning…. Studies have shown the rooms are useful for reducing and managing stress and aggression. They support reflective learning following incidents, and can also help overcome habitual counterproductive behaviors….


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