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Tacoma, WA: Middle school gets sensory room to "teach students self-regulation"

May 24, 2018, Tacoma (WA) News Tribune: Middle school unveils chill-spa to help students relax, focus http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/community/gateway/g-living/article211668839.html Communities In Schools board members, along with representatives form the Peninsula Schools Education Foundation, turned out May 3 for grand opening of the newly created ‘chill-spa' at Key Peninsula Middle School. The chill-spa is a sensory classroom, a dedicated space designed with sensory and activity equipment to support self-regulation of students who are in elevated and/or depressed emotional states of arousal.In recent generations, students unwind electronically with gaming or videos and, as a result, some children have difficulty regulating themselves for high-stamina tasks, Gilchrist said. This underserved need can manifest in forms of hyperactivity, lethargy or impulsivity…. The chill-spa will now give us another proactive strategy to teach students self-regulation and we hope the skills they learn when accessing this space will not only support them in their ability to focus and learn in school but will also support them into their adult lives,” Bowman said. Middle school occupational therapist Barb Morton said sensory rooms are one of the things used often in his profession. … "This program will benefit teachers as well. The goal is to keep students engaged in education. This program helps that mission. Students will have a place to go to unwind when things get a bit overwhelming during class; a place to push the reset button and get back to class, back to learning," she said.