Children with developmental disorders can be particularly sensitive to certain stimulation that most people rarely consider. They may have extreme negative reactions to unpleasant or overwhelming sensory stimulation. These reactions may include tantrums, screaming, pacing, flailing, and more. It can be difficult for loved ones to understand why their child is behaving this way, as well as to find solutions to their sensory overload and adverse reactions.
At Education Alternatives (EA), we teach children with a variety of developmental disorders, including autism. We understand why they may be overwhelmed or uncomfortable and why it’s causing their challenging behavior. Our special needs educators and youth counselors are well-equipped to help these students learn to cope with their sensory sensitivity. One of the most important tools we use is sensory rooms for children and adolescents.
Why Is Sensory Stimulation Important?
Sensory stimulation is a vital part of the human experience. It triggers our emotional and physical responses to the world around us. How we respond to stimulation can affect the things we hear, see, feel, touch, and taste. It can even affect things as fundamental as the feeling of hunger or the need to release a bowel movement.
For most people, this is done subconsciously. The majority of the time when we receive sensory stimulation, we process our response without thinking and move on. However, a person with a developmental disorder may not be able to continue through their day as easily.
For example, an autistic child may eat something with a texture they dislike and start screaming frantically over the unpleasant feeling. This can be a rattling experience for the child as well as loved ones, and it can cause anxiety over simple things like mealtimes or eating in public.
What Is the Purpose of a Sensory Room?
In general, a sensory room is a tool to help people with developmental disorders regulate their emotions. For people with special needs, sensory room benefits are considerable, providing them with a safe and controlled environment to work through the unique challenges they face in the real world.
First, sensory rooms are incredible options for students who are feeling over-stimulated in the moment. The student can escape to a sensory room where they are safe to regulate their emotions as needed. Then, the student can return to their normal activities.
Second, sensory rooms for children and adolescents are tools to help them simulate real-world situations that may trigger them. By triggering a sensory overload in a controlled environment, the student can learn how to cope with their emotions that they may experience at any moment outside of the safe space.
What Are the Benefits of a Sensory Room?
Any person with a developmental disorder could benefit from a sensory room. In particular, people with autism tend to see good results.
Because developmental disorders can make it difficult to take in stimuli and regulate the emotions that follow, it is important that people who are affected have opportunities to practice coping mechanisms for difficult sensory stimulation. With a sensory room, students have the option to take both reactive and proactive measures for their sensitivity to certain stimuli.
How Does Education Alternatives Utilize Sensory Rooms?
At Education Alternatives, we specialize in helping students with autism and other developmental disorders. One of the key tools we utilize is sensory rooms, which we have available at each of our locations.
We have found these to be incredibly beneficial to our students. Our educators and counselors are trained to help students with special needs and employ sensory room use when necessary to de-escalate emotions and learn coping mechanisms.
If you have further questions about our services and how we can help students with special needs, please reach out to us by completing our contact form. You can also email us at email@example.com or call us at (216) 332-9360.