Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Meet the dream room expert

Talitha Mueller, M.Ed., J.D., has 20 years of experience in the field of special education. She has worked with students, ranging from three to 21 years of age, in both private and public school settings. For the past five years, she has worked as an ABA therapist and special education consultant assisting families of children diagnosed with autism. She is passionate about helping special education students achieve their fullest potential in both school and the community.

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders have difficulty with sensory integration. In other words, receiving and processing information perceived by the senses can be challenging and may impact the child’s ability to adapt to situations involving sensory input. A child with an autism diagnosis may be hypersensitive or hyposensitive to sounds, textures, tastes, and movement patterns. Therefore, it is important to control sensory input and avoid overwhelming the child. Soft lighting and colors, as well as reduced clutter, can minimize the level of sensory input. In addition, design elements that can be used to alert or calm the child’s senses can be added to make a room child-friendly. Bean bag chairs, large soft pillows, therapy balls, fiber optics, and a sound system for music can help the child learn to self-regulate.

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