Creating an autism friendly sensory space in a classroom is about being creative, and thinking outside the square to how your students different sensory needs can be accommodated.
Begin by making a list
List the different sensory needs that present in your students – are there students who require lots of movement, quiet space, dim lighting, or lots of tactile experiences? Even if there are needs that are complete opposites to each other, don’t despair at this point, it’s just about making a full list of the needs of your students.
Then it’s about brainstorming what you can do with the space that you have. Look objectively at the layout of your room and how it may be manipulated to cater for difference experiences.
Creating zones for different sensory learning or sensory experiences can be a good way to approach things from here.
Gather equipment and resources
When you have your zones in place, it’s time to gather your equipment. It’s worthwhile remembering that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to have sensory friendly spaces. You might find that you already have resources lying around that you can adapt, or there may be equipment that you can loan or that families are happy to provide for their children to use. Ask around and you might be surprised with what you can come up with! And if your school is looking to fit out sensory spaces in different areas, it could be worthwhile looking to see if there is funding or community grants available to access.
Acknowledge and validate your students
The most important thing is to acknowledge and validate your student’s sensory experiences, and to encourage other students to learn and be supportive.
Written by Elissa Plumridge
You can watch the video HERE