SPRINGDALE, Ark. — It’s almost time for kids to head back to class, and one middle school in Springdale has built a space for kids who need a little more attention outside of the classroom.
At Senora Middle School you will see many dark classrooms in the summer, when school hasn’t yet started, but one room is planning to stay dark most of the year to help kids with special needs.
Angela Oxford, the mother of a special needs child commented, “We’ve had a chance to see so many different places, and this place is really special.”
Learning, comfort, and the sound of laughter are just a few things that fill this unique space, called a sensory room. It’s one of just a handful available in the area.
Marleah Hannaford, a Special Needs Teacher, says the room releases their anxiety, and gives them an opportunity to learn, and looking around the room, you will see a lot of sensory teaching tools, dim lighting, and comforting sounds. These help children like Jack, make advances that may not otherwise happen.
“For a child like Jack who has a brain injury and special needs and is visually impaired, so what that means for him is having a place that is sensory focused so he can grow all of his senses,” Angela continued. “He continues to make advances, and that makes me very excited as a mom.”
The teachers who built this room say they are encouraged for how this space will help them nurture and include all of their students in the learning process, which is music to many parents’ ears whose children need an alternative learning space.