I am an occupational therapist who recently switched over to the NYC Department of Education (DOE). I am currently working at multiple schools throughout the year. My students range from 5 to 20 years old and many are low functioning academically. My students are diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, ADHD, and developmental delays. Despite their limitations, my students are amazing! They are eager to learn and participate in new activities; however, lack of experiences and materials are holding them back. They have a difficult time accessing their academics due to their high sensory needs and fine motor/gross motor delays.
Many of my students have limited social skills, attention, general body weakness, and difficulty self-regulating to the sensory information around them.
These things all impact their ability to communicate effectively, participate in the classroom, and be independent. Many times, they struggle to keep up with the other students and cannot participate in the same ways. I work tremendously hard to expose them to as many experiences within my means; however, this is getting harder and harder as I do not have that many materials and supplies.
The materials will make a difference in my therapy room by helping to build my students' gross motor skills, attention, and help them with sensory regulation. The tunnel will help the children who need sensory input via having them crawl through and can also be used as parts of obstacle courses. The balance stones can help them maintain their balance and the texture of the stones can help students with tactile hypersensitivity or who crave tactile input. This will also promote their social and emotional skills. The body socks can help students calm down and get a tight hug feeling throughout their body to help organize their brains and body. All of these materials will greatly improve my students' ability to self-regulate and focus in their classrooms.
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