Sensory Pods For Students On Autism Spectrum
If you opened a sliding door and entered a space with soft blankets, pillows, multicolored lights, speakers and air conditioning, where do you think you would be?
If you answered “my personal heaven”, we may consider that as the right answer but we are really talking about a little pods located at the Dublin City University’s libraries in three of its campuses. These pods are for students who have or suspect they have Autism and allow them to de-stress by providing them a calming environment that they can fully control.
After an 18 month research, DCU highlighted several issues that students on the Autism spectrum faced which included sensory issues, smells from the cafeteria, red walls, projector sounds and cluttered furniture. Besides these issues, students also said they had difficulty in noisy environments, managing schedules, deadlines and workloads, social and other situations. The sensory pods will help these students de-stress if they are overwhelmed before returning to campus life.
Watch the video below for more information on these pods at DCU.
If you work with students with Autism, would you consider installing a sensory pod in your space? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: thejournal.ie, DCU
Yes, as an OT in the schools I would be willing to assist with research on this!
I think this is a really great tool for kids that need time away from others if they are overstimulated. I love that it has so sensory many features and gives control to the person using it. I have a lot of students that can benefit from this type of technology, and I wonder how practical this could be in the public school setting. I think the most important thing about these are how they are being used. Choice is really important and it should not be used as a punishment or a time out. Our school has blue rooms that are larger, but still padded and have doors that do not lock. They are used as break areas that students can request. I have seen smaller rooms draw controversy and concern from parents when they are not used correctly. How do we ensure school staff are trained in how to use these types of technology properly if they become present in public schools?
Agree with you on all points, Brianna! Sounds like you have experienced similar pods/rooms that provide sensory relief? You bring up a good point about school staff training. I think this will also require staff to be more empathetic towards students, especially if they have not worked with students with disabilities before. I would also think that other students would probably try to misuse them, and to prevent that, there will have to be a mechanism in place that ensures only those in need have access to these type of pods.