Terre Haute, IN: School sensory room: 'a safe place to go to be angry or upset'

Dec 2, 2017, Terre Haute (IN) Star Tribune: Education Foundation awards nearly $42K in grants A sensory room at Hoosier Prairie Elementary School is aimed at calming children to allow them to focus on learning. “Children who are overwhelmed with daily stress or trauma they are experiencing at home can be overstimulated when they come in the building or even throughout the day,” said Jennifer Nickel, principal at Hoosier Prairie. “This is a room with many sensory activities such as bouncy balls, weighted balls, weighted ropes, swings, textured patterns on the wall and floor where they can take their shoes off to get that sensory stimulation that they need in order to be calm and be ready to learn,” Nickel said. The school received $2,900 for the room, which can help students with “bigger behavior problems that we really needed to address. We want them to have a safe place to go to be angry or upset so they can calm themselves with these activities, then be able to be successful in the classroom.” The room can help students on the autism spectrum or students who are in a “fight or flight mode,” caused by intense stress.