School Sensory Spaces Making a Difference

Children sitting in the school's sensory spaceWe all need to have a space where we can take time out in from time to time, but it is especially important for children with special needs, such as Autism.

So when teachers at Harrington Public School found there were no ‘exit strategies’ in place for teachers to assist children who needed to take themselves out of sometimes noisy, overwhelming moments in classrooms, they decided to act.

Having heard about the Ability Links program, a teacher invited a local Linker to discuss how the Ability Links program could assist the school.

The school worked with the Linker to help identify how to best respond to the specific needs of these children.

The Linker suggested that the school investigate creating a sensory space that the kids could use.

Lisa Kirkland, a teacher at the school, says the kids now love the space and use it in different ways.

“The kids make a choice,” Lisa says. “They are offered it as an option, which they are now most likely to choose as their timeout before they have a meltdown.”

“The kids can now regulate themselves so they can come in and out as needed,” says Lisa.

“This is incredibly important for the children, the families and the school for creating an inclusive environment,” says Lisa. “It’s made a huge difference.”