A sensory room helps students with autism at Sheridan Terrace Elementary School in North Huntingdon Township, Pennsylvania to have an opportunity to cool down and become comfortable with their senses.

Sensory Room Helps Students with Autism“It’s a great outlet for kids like him (Michael) who need a little break,” Kelly Makay said of her 9-year-old son, a third grader at Sheridan Terrace.

The room looks like a playroom, as it includes a bubble machine, a sand table, water beads, and a bin filled with beans. These are all important in supporting sensory experiences, says Miranda Slivka, the autistic support teacher.

“Our sensory room provides a separate space for students to visit to help them ‘come into their senses.’ Whether they are seeking calming activities or need more active activities, students’ sensory needs can be met throughout the day,” Slivka said. “Once students visit the sensory room, they are able to transition back in to the classroom and are ready to complete classroom tasks and activities.”

The room is illuminated with subtle lighting, and contains a fragrance area, music, and a rocking chair.  It is painted a soothing shade of blue.

“The materials in the room are organized around various senses in the hope that the input will meet students’ sensory needs,” said Heather Newell, Sheridan Terrace principal.

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