I am an occupational therapist who services students in an elementary school that has over five hundred students. Normal classroom size is thirty-two students although the school has several integrated and special education classes. I work with children that have learning disabilities, autism, motor disorders, speech impairments, and other conditions.
My school is in an under-served neighborhood in the Bronx, NY.
It has almost all students living in poverty and and some are currently in shelters. Many of these families don’t have the means to provide their children with basic needs. My goal is to provide an enriching, encouraging environment for every type of student. As an OT, I believe that every child learns differently and no two students are the same. Therefore, I go out of my way to make sure each teacher has all the means necessary to provide an educational setting every student deserves. I normally pay for all supplies out of my own pocket, but it is costly and I have not been able to reach every student. I cannot do it alone; I immensely appreciate all support and help I can get!
Children receiving impaired messages of sensory processing from their muscles and joints might experience poor posture and motor skills and, as a result, may have low self-esteem, experience social/emotional issues, and struggle academically.
Most children with impaired sensory processing are as intelligent as their peers and are sometimes intellectually gifted; the wiring of their brain is just different.
These students must learn alternate ways (through therapy-- which is where I come in) to help them adapt to how they process information, and they must acquire leisure activities that suit their own sensory processing needs.
The materials requested will reach all ages and all types of learners. In order to learn and absorb new information, a child must be fully relaxed at at ease. These tools will help calm and focus our students by providing providing sensory input such as deep tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensation. For example, the T-Stool will help my students work on balance reactions, trunk control, sensory integration responses, focused attention and proprioceptive responses. The inflatable core disk can also be used to provide stability for positioning, or active, free-flowing instability for the development of balance skills and trunk strength. The Pea Pod is a seated device that students can use to apply deep, even pressure to many sensitive areas of the body. Some children like to gently rock side-to-side for a “cocooning-calm” in this. My students can use this to calm themselves while at the same time, do their work inside of it!
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