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Washington Post: More colleges provides spaces for "neurodiverse" needs

Feb 1, 2020, Washington Post: Room with an ‘ahh’: Colleges are giving students their own space to decompress …Tracy Colena, a first-year student majoring in chemical engineering, comes to the same sensory room when he’s feeling stressed and overwhelmed by university life. The fidget toys are a good distraction and help him return to his day feeling calmer and more in control. For Elyse Samojedny, a senior majoring in psychology, the room’s “bubble wall” remains its main attraction. Her attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder makes it hard for her to focus. But sitting up close to the white noise and constant stream of video bubbles “blocks everything out, so I can focus on my breath,” she said…. But for some students, normal days are a challenge — let alone high-stress exam periods and the beginning of a new term. That’s why a small but growing number of schools offer special rooms where students with anxiety, autism, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder or sensory challenges can go to decompress…. There is a clear need for rooms like this for students who are neurodiverse, said Mitchell Nagler, director of the Bridges to Adelphi Program, which includes the nearly two-year-old sensory room. “They are college material, but they need supports that are not typically available on a college campus,” Nagler said….


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