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Sensory areas are fastidiously crafted to create a multisensory expertise that may assist us calm down, focus, or just benefit from the second. On this episode, host Nancy Chung interviews occupational therapist and College Specialty’s subject material knowledgeable for Particular Wants, Cecilia Cruse. We additionally welcome again College Specialty’s Nationwide Training Strategist, Dr. Sue Ann Highland.

Good for the Margins, Good for the Plenty

Cecilia remembers the story of “Cedric,” a pupil with autism and excessive sensory preferences. When it was acknowledged that Cedric may get the sensory weight loss program he wanted from a sensory area with a beanbag chair and weighted blanket, lecturers began utilizing the area with him earlier than he escalated in direction of a meltdown.

Over time, lecturers and trade consultants have come to comprehend that all these sensory areas are useful for all college students, in addition to lecturers, directors, and nearly everybody else. What maybe started as an lodging for a marginal few college students is now a part of common design.

Common design is, what was designed for the margins turns into good for the plenty. On this case, Cedric and lots of different college students like him wanted one thing particular for his or her wants. And now we’re seeing, particularly post-pandemic, that these sensory areas hit a necessity for social emotional studying and well being and wellness.

Cecilia Cruse

Sensory Ballot to Study Scholar Choice

Do you want visible enter? Do you want audio enter? Take a ballot to search out out pupil sensory preferences for when they should self-regulate. Some college students could profit from one thing so simple as chewing gum for oral motor self-regulation or a relaxing aromatherapy scent for olfactory senses. You should utilize fidgets for tactile enter, a swing or rocking chair for vestibular enter, or weighted merchandise for deep-pressure proprioceptive enter.

Completely different college students may have totally different wants, typically altering by the day, so it’s vital to search out out what everybody wants and attempt to present a number of sorts of enter choices.

In the case of how we implement it, simply attempt it. Soar in and be taught collectively. Study together with your college students and allow them to inform you what they like and what they don’t like.

Dr. Sue Ann Highland

host nancy chung interviewing cecilia cruse and dr sue ann highland via video call
Nancy Chung (higher proper) interviews Cecilia Cruse (higher left) and Dr. Sue Ann Highland

Sensory Areas Assist Cut back Anxiousness and Stress, for Everybody

Lecturers, principals, and workers also needs to be thought-about when designing sensory areas. Easing their stress and nervousness is vital for his or her well-being and the well-being of the scholars of their classroom. And exhibiting them their wants are vital is an effective way to obviously convey that their contributions are valued and appreciated.

cecilia cruse

Cecilia Cruse MS, OTR/L

Cecilia has devoted herself to the well being and well-being of others all through a 38-year profession as a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist, credentials she retains at present (OTR/L). Her expertise in pediatrics with school-based providers (together with preschool and Head Begin applications), acute care, and outpatient pediatric settings, together with Augusta College and Kids’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Ceremony, have made her a precious useful resource to educators and communities. She has shared her data on nationwide tv, in displays at numerous nationwide, state, and native conferences, and as a broadcast creator.

dr sue ann highland

Sue Ann Highland, PhD

Dr. Sue Ann Highland is the Nationwide Training Strategist for College Specialty. As an Training Strategist, she makes use of her experience in academic initiatives and administrative management to assist lecturers and leaders remodel instructing and studying.

Along with her work at College Specialty, Highland has additionally served as a change and enchancment marketing consultant to greater than many Colorado enterprise and academic establishments since 2004. On this capability, she enhanced personnel efficiency, streamlined organizational operations, and launched course of enhancements that enhanced productiveness for firms and colleges. She additionally has a number of years of expertise managing a crew that transforms studying environments for districts.

Highland derives her experience from over 25 years in schooling, with half of these years in rural districts. She has labored as an Organizational Improvement Director, an elementary faculty principal, and a college district’s Director of Federal Packages, Curriculum and Instruction. In these positions, Highland was answerable for skilled improvement and every day administration, in addition to for main initiatives and evaluating workers efficiency and outcomes. She focuses on enchancment, turnaround, and alter administration.

Highland obtained a Grasp of Arts in Instructional Management and Coverage Research from the College of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon College.



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