June 19, 2018, Orange County Register: Play environment at Sunset Lane Elementary designed with sensory needs in mind https://www.ocregister.com/2018/06/19/play-environment-at-sunset-lane-elementary-designed-with-sensory-needs-in-mind/ Sunset Lane Elementary School Teacher Amy Jahn saw a need. Jahn, a special day classes teacher who works with children on the autism spectrum, said she noticed that while children frolicked on playground equipment on campus, many of her students stood unengaged to the side. Sunset Lane’s recently unveiled sensory room is changing that. Constructed inside a regular classroom, the sensory room consists of eight stations, each designed to engage the senses in a different way. There is a touch wall for tactile input; multiple sensory bins filled with materials of varying textures; a squishy corner, which is akin to a giant pillow; medicine balls; light-up bubble tubes; and an outdoor garden area. Some stations have a calming effect and others provide stimulation. “The majority of children on the spectrum have sensory processing disorders,” said Summer Dabbs, director of Fullerton Cares, a nonprofit that raises awareness and helps fund a variety of special needs programs within the Fullerton School District. “They can’t process the information they take in through their senses. The brain doesn’t process it the way it should.” As a result, they can become upset, anxious, aggressive or withdraw, especially in heavily populated and noisy environments, Dabbs said. After spending some time in the sensory room, the children are calm, organizers said. “When they go back in the classroom, they are ready to learn” said Larry Howser, founder of Fullerton Cares, whose son Boyd is on the autism spectrum….
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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