We have an enclosed courtyard right outside our classroom. It is empty but would be a great place to work on sensory social and integrated activities with typical peers. Picnic tables would be a great way to encourage these activities while given special needs kids a safe place to learn and explore.
My students have a variety of special needs, including Autism, physical, emotional, social, academic, communication and behavioral impairments.
Students in wheelchairs often feel excluded when playing in the courtyard due to not having tables to complete activities. Our school is wonderful about including my students, but it would be a great opportunity for both my students and their typical peers to have a safe place to build their social, communication, and sensory skills. My students are unable to peruse a lot of the school's outside areas due to safety concerns of running off. Picnic tables in the enclosed courtyard would allow my students to have a safe, learning environment outside, where they would be free to walk around without the fear for their safety. It would also benefit other classes in the school and encourage integration between students with special needs and their typical peers, while being productive learners. Wheelchair students would be an active part of the group.
My students need two picnic tables. Students with special needs would be able to be included with their typical peers in an enclosed, outside environment. Classes would be able to work together, at picnic tables, on activities such as weather, gardening, science, painting and other activities meant for the outdoors. Picnic tables would provide an alternate working environment during nice days and encourage social development. They could be used during snack time, celebrations or be used as an incentive for completing class assignments.
Donations toward purchasing picnic tables would enable students with special needs to be able to work together.
It would let them feel as if they belong to a group despite their differences. It would encourage character building strengths with typical students as they learn that they are more alike than different. Students with special needs learn best with hands on approaches and modeling. Their development and self esteem would increase by engaging in activities with their typical peers.
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