This World Autism Awareness Day, two elementary school teachers made inclusion more than a motto with the opening of a state-of-the-art sensory room, also known as a snoezelen or controlled multi-sensory environment (MSE). Tuesday morning Elizabeth Newell and Lauren Breeding, special education teachers at Wilson Elementary School in Montgomery, Alabama, unveiled the school’s new sensory room, the first in the Montgomery Public School System. Newell and Breeding have been working to see the sensory room become a reality since 2009. The special classroom is designed to comfort students on the Autism Spectrum with behavioral research supported lighting, sound, and interactive materials. Though sensory rooms may look like playgrounds, Breeding explains educational benefits for autistic children saying, “It gives them an opportunity to participate in the regular education classroom…to learn and explore in their own way.” On the day of the unveiling, each elementary class had a special lesson about Autism Spectrum Disorders.
At Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices, our students have greatly benefited from the soothing stimulus of the snoezelen room. Our controlled multi-sensory environment is alterable for various children’s needs, with multiple lighting and sound designs and a musical hopscotch with adjustable levels of difficulty. Our interactive LED spiral sensation panel is both calming and educational, teaching children cause and effect associations. To learn more about our snoezelen room and other therapeutic or educational innovations, visit the services section of our website or contact us!
To read more on Montgomery’s success story visit:
Griffin, Allison. “Delighting the Senses: School’s New Sensory Room Helps Autistic Children to Learn.” Montgomery Advertiser. N.p., 2 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Apr. 2013. <http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130403/LIFESTYLE/304020034/Delighting-senses-School-s-new-sensory-room-helps-autistic-children-learn>.