Aug 25, 2021, South Missourian News: Providing a safe haven for special needs students https://www.areawidenews.com/story/2901950.html
After realizing last school year there was not a sensory room or a therapeutic space for students with special needs to “calm and focus themselves,” Special Education Paraprofessional Susan Kay Bottorff with the Thayer School District was inspired to create one. With the intention to help students with special needs to better prepare for learning and preparing to interact with others, the room will only be utilized while there is aid present. This school year, there will be two students who have full-time aids that will mainly use the room. “Our plans are to use the space for therapies such as speech, physical and occupational when needed. It will also be used for one-on-one time between the aid and students,” said Bottorff. With the addition of the room, there have been some needs for it. However, the community has stepped up to help as well as family and friends from out of state. When seeking donations, Bottorff created an Amazon wish list, and it was filled. One donation even came from New York…. Bottorff stated her prayer is that students know there is a place for them and “that the room is one that students will be able to spend more time in the classroom with other students.” “Last year, I had thought about a space for our kids and here we are making it happen! I am overjoyed with the response from our community, family and friends. Over the next year, we will continue to develop the room into what we want it to be,” said Bottorff.