To help an increasing number of students suffering from a diverse range of behavioural disorders and allow students to escape the woes of classroom stress, a South West school has created a sensory room.
Dowsed in docile colours, Yarloop Primary School’s sensory room is equipped with a deep pressure canoe, rocking chair, sensory swing and textured pillows to help students regulate their emotions and senses.
It comes after the school witnessed an increase in students suffering from disorders such as of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Yarloop Primary School teacher of 30 years Kandy Camisa said about 20 per cent of the school’s students had disorders ranging from ASD to ADHD.
“There has been a significant increase in the number of students enrolled with a diagnosis of ASD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorders and PTSD in recent years,” she said.
“These students often find it difficult to process, organise and respond to the information they receive through their senses, they may be over sensitive to sensory input, under sensitive, or both.”
After receiving funding from Alcoa, Toyota WA, Yarloop Volunteer Bushfire Brigade and Yarloop P&C, the project took six weeks to complete.
Ms Camisa said the room had seen major results with education assistants recording how children felt before and after using the room.
“We are getting the education assistants to record what the children are drawn to the most, and we’re also starting to stock different resources so I can change it around once a term or once a semester,” she said.
“We are seeing results, I think there is a need for it as it helps regulate their body, their senses and their feelings and they can then go back in (to class) and learn.”
The school also plans to implement another room designed to encourage active sensory stimulation and include mini-trampolines, punching bags and exercise bikes in March.
Ms Camisa said the sensory room was also used to separate students who had fought with one another and to help calm upset parents.
“One of the big pushes for us is that it’s also just for mainstream children that are just trying to deal with daily life pressures and creates a calming or active environment,” she said.
“They’re the kids that can’t sit still and concentrate, what they need is a sensory break, this is meant to help them get back into a class and learn.”
Its about helping them learn and be happier at school.