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(UK) Holmes Chapel: School "celebrates" sensory room one year anniversary

Apr 27, 2023, Knutsford Guardian: Holmes Chapel school sensory room celebrates first birthday https://www.knutsfordguardian.co.uk/news/23484302.holmes-chapel-school-sensory-room-celebrates-first-birthday/

N. England

A MAGICAL place has given children with autism a safe sanctuary.

A new sensory room, nicknamed the Rainbow Room, was created a year ago to help children’s wellbeing at Hermitage Primary School in Holmes Chapel.

Equipped with calming lights, music, and tactile pieces, it has been hailed a huge success. Children can now manage their own behaviour and strong emotions.

Headteacher Helen Ross said: “It’s really helping children.

“We see them more quickly identifying when they need to calm down. “Children are not getting as distressed.

“They recognise dysregulation in themselves and say ‘I need to go to the Rainbow Room’.”

So-called self-regulation is challenging for all children, but can be particularly difficult for pupils with autism and other special needs….

Pupils come for sensory input, to either calm down or for stimulation.

Children who access emotional support can have time in the room with support staff.

Teleri Pitts, the school’s special educational needs co-ordinator, said: “All behaviours are communication, and not everyone can verbally tell you how they are feeling.

“A child may be dysregulated because of many reasons.

“What is important is that you support the child to regulate and then try and unpick this with the child and support them to communicate their needs.

“Time within the sensory room allows the child the space to regulate.”

The idea for the room came after a member of staff saw a sensory room at Space for Autism in Macclesfield….

Teleri Pitts, special educational needs co-ordinator, and Catherine Dooley, specialist resource provison, celebrate the sensory room's first anniversary with a birthday cake (Image: Hermitage Primary School)

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