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Build a classroom sensory area

Why are sensory areas are beneficial?

Having a sensory area within your classroom provides students with a safe, supportive and calming space. This enables them to remain calm and focused within the classroom, creating a better space for learning.

There are many Items or situations in classrooms that cause sensory overload or cause an autistic child to loose focus. For many this may be Bright lights, colourful displays, clocks making ticking noises, talking, along with many others. Providing children with a sensory area will give them a space to be calm and regain focus.

What should I include?

The first step to creating a sensory corner for students is to look around your classroom and see what some Autistic pupils may find overstimulating or overwhelming in your space. These will be different for each individual so may differ from classroom to classroom. The space you create should be free from any of these.

  • There are many items that you should consider including in your sensory corner, these could be:
  • Beanbags
  • sensory lighting such as bubble tubes or light projectors, to provide visual stimulation.
  • Interactive wall boards, such as flip sequin or sensory boards.
  • Weighted blankets or lap pads
  • Rocking chair
  • Fidget toys
  • soft items such as a blanket or a soft teddy bear.
  • Ear defenders/ headphones
  • different textured material
  • emotional regulation tools, such as activities to complete.
  • An enclosed space such as a small tent
  • breathing tools

If you are unable to create a sensory corner within your classroom, it would be useful to create a sensory toolkit within the class. This can provide an studnets who need support with regulation or who are overstimulated with a way to calm. items that should be considered for this are:

  • Tactile toys, such as fidget toys, soft cuddly toys.
  • Emotional regulation tools, such as communication cards, relazaton techniques.
  • Comfort items
  • different textured items

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