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Waxahachie, TX: "25% enrollment increase of life skills students over past 3 yrs"

July 5, 2018, Waxahachie (TX) Daily Light: WISD special education department boasts state-of-the-art tech, welcomes new director http://www.waxahachietx.com/news/20180705/wisd-special-education-department-boasts-state-of-the-art-tech-welcomes-new-director With a 25 percent enrollment increase of life skills students over the past three years, a more spacious and advanced learning environment was essential for the special needs community at the new Waxahachie High School. An entire line of classrooms, labs and private restrooms now comprise the special education department at Waxahachie High. ... However, the new space is equipped with a sensory room, a life skills lab and three additional classrooms. With the new area comes a new director as well, Audrey Thomas. … Even though each campus incorporates a sensory space for special needs students, the high school campus includes the best of the best equipment. An LED bubble tube provides input in the visual aspect. Students who also require physical and sensory input might wear a weighted vest or sit in the swinging chairs. Music can be part of the optical element and hit the auditory input. … “Often times, they have a neurological difference on how they take input in from the world and so research has shown that these types of stimulatory provide calming the student is needing,” Thomas said. Each student in the special education program is given an individualized education plan to identify areas where the students could benefit from. But, not all students in the program require the sensory input or the life skills platform. The next room is a multifunctional room equipped with a one-way mirror used for observations. Thomas gave an example of a behavioral specialist devising a plan to aid a student if they are struggling in certain areas. …