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Mr. Brandon’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Muscle Shoals Middle School
  • Muscle Shoals, AL

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Something I've learned in my ten years teaching students with special needs is that few people understand sensory overload and how it affects students with Autism. Sensory issues can cause students to engage in inappropriate behaviors, they can cause kids to shut down and feel unsafe, and they can severely impede a students' progress by the sheer amount of anxiety it causes them. Because of this, I want to be able to offer my students a safe space to go that is highly sensory friendly. Sensory breaks are a must for my students in order for them to even be able to function at school. To cite an example, I have a non-verbal student with severe Autism. He is highly sensitive to bright light, loud noises, and pressure. He has made a lot of progress, but when he and I are working in a classroom where other students are making noise and the bright lights are on, his anxiety levels will begin to rise and he starts with the inappropriate behaviors such as running away, crying, yelling, stemming. When he gets to this point, I can no longer teach him. I have to remove him and get him into a more sensory friendly area to deescalate him. This is the area of my classroom that I want to improve! I want to expedite this calming process and offer him MORE effective sensory activities to bring his anxiety back down to a manageable level for him. In this specific example, I would want a quiet place that had dim lighting, cool lighting patterns, and high pressure sensory items such as weighted vests, weighted blankets, and tunnels.

About my class

Something I've learned in my ten years teaching students with special needs is that few people understand sensory overload and how it affects students with Autism. Sensory issues can cause students to engage in inappropriate behaviors, they can cause kids to shut down and feel unsafe, and they can severely impede a students' progress by the sheer amount of anxiety it causes them. Because of this, I want to be able to offer my students a safe space to go that is highly sensory friendly. Sensory breaks are a must for my students in order for them to even be able to function at school. To cite an example, I have a non-verbal student with severe Autism. He is highly sensitive to bright light, loud noises, and pressure. He has made a lot of progress, but when he and I are working in a classroom where other students are making noise and the bright lights are on, his anxiety levels will begin to rise and he starts with the inappropriate behaviors such as running away, crying, yelling, stemming. When he gets to this point, I can no longer teach him. I have to remove him and get him into a more sensory friendly area to deescalate him. This is the area of my classroom that I want to improve! I want to expedite this calming process and offer him MORE effective sensory activities to bring his anxiety back down to a manageable level for him. In this specific example, I would want a quiet place that had dim lighting, cool lighting patterns, and high pressure sensory items such as weighted vests, weighted blankets, and tunnels.

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