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Students Benefit from Sensory Room at Southwood Elementary School

November 16, 2019 -- Sometimes we all need a little break, the world can be a big place for a growing young mind. At Southwood Elementary School students now have a sensory room to give them the extra time they need.

 “The idea here is to provide a space for students to come to when their emotions get to big in a classroom,” said School Psychologist, Brandi Jones.

 Brandi Jones is a School Psychologist at Southwood and Binns Elementary School. Jones along with many other school psychologist and occupational therapist have created sensory Rooms in various elementary schools across the district. Instead of students getting punished for their emotions, they are being taught how to recognize their feelings, and to deal with them in a healthy way.

 “They might need a brain break, or they might need to time get distracted, get time away from what might be frustrating them in the classroom. Whether it is the work is getting really hard, or they are getting kind of tired, or maybe they are thinking about things going on at home, or struggling with a peer, whatever the reason that has triggered an emotion, or triggered them to shutdown in the classroom this is a space that they can come where they have all kinds of sensory activities,” said Jones.

If they need to sit by themselves, they can rock in a boat. If they need to distract themselves with an activity, they can play in the sandbox. If they need to get out energy, they can play basketball. And if they need to talk, they can speak with an adult. The idea is they can stay in this room until they feel calmer.

 “We know that students come in with different things in their backpacks. Whether they come from home with different things going on, or they come to school and there are things that we are not able to see. This allows the students to come in, have some time, get away from the setting that is causing them to get amped-up or feel stressed out, and it is a short term intervention for them for the period of time.”