Sensory classrooms are not something new in Lauderdale county schools, however, West Lauderdale Elementary is the first in the county to have an entire sensory pathway in their sensory classroom. “Kids can come in and take a sensory break. If a kid that has autism or a kid that has severe ADHD and need just a little quick break from class to just get rid of some energy or decompress from the stresses of the classroom, they can come in here and participate in a variety of activities,” said their special education teacher, Lori Taylor. Taylor reached out to her principal earlier this year for the sensory pathway, and the Meridian Junior Auxiliary provided all the funds.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to have on our campus. Several our students have already been able to utilize it to get some of those extra little wiggles out that may cause them to be a distraction or just keep them from paying attention in the classroom. So, we’ve already seen them some good benefit from it so far within our first five or six days of school,” said West Lauderdale Elementary Principal, Elliot Brewer.
Taylor said the pathway allows these students to be able to follow simple instructions, that, in turn, raise their overall performance in the classroom. “The sensory pathway offers some structured movement where the kids, especially the lower grades, are reinforcing letters and numbers and having to read small sentences about what to do.” The room and the pathway are available to the entire school. It is used for occupational and physical therapy, as well. Other supplies in the room, such as the light filters, were donated by Cruisin’ for the Kids.