Hello! My name is Melissa Pust, an Occupational Therapist, working with a Self Contained Multi-Categorical Special Education Teacher Eva Marcial Resto, a graduate and native of the University of Puerto Rico, to supply sensory strategies for her very involved students. Ms. Marcial Resto classroom is specially designed for students with Autism consisting of 10 students ranging in grade from 1st grade to 5th grade. Their ability impacts their learning as developmentally the students' skills range from 18 months to 7 years of age.
The majority of the students reside in a poverty-stricken area in which they come from very little and it is difficult to financially meet their basic needs.
Our kids come from a Spanish speaking home and are enrolled in a bilingual immersion program. Many students have transferred from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Ms. Marcial Resto classroom is full of energy. The students struggle with self-regulation skills, social skills, communication, cognitive development, and self-help skills. The majority of the classroom is non-verbal, active and co-dependent on their basic needs. The students' personalities light up the day as they are affectionate and caring. They love music, technology, dancing, being outdoors and being physically active.
The students will benefit from the materials by tapping into their sensory system including proprioception and vestibular responses to enhance the educational experience. This will aid their academic and social success through increasing participation and exploration. The materials open up doors for an appropriate learning environment for children with Autism.
Creating a sensory-rich environment that promotes engagement in materials and social interactions with peers.
Sensory materials help develop the students' mind to make them a contributing member of society. The materials will help reach the students where they are at to help them grow as individuals. The materials will reduce meltdowns, increase curiosity and enhance cognitive development.
We are asking for sensory items to help engage and regulate our students. We have requested a sensory table that we will rotate materials to provide tactile sensory experiences to develop fine motor, increase vocabulary, and promote expressive language. The fiber optic curtain and the ocean wave projector will be used to provide a calming environment and help them self-regulate in an appropriate manner. Bean bag chairs will provide proprioceptive input during instruction to help maintain attention and develop joint attention.
Our Students seek out sensory experiences throughout their entire day. We are trying to teach them appropriate ways for them in engage in their surroundings at an age-appropriate level. These materials will help us overcome hurdles experienced in the classroom.
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