- Sensory rooms, which include special equipment and furnishings designed to calm anxious or overstimlulated students, can help students feel more comfortable in their classrooms and cause them to be less disruptive, District Administration reports.
- Specially trained teachers need to create individualized plans, called “sensory diets” so that students are using the space in an effective and intentional way.
- Though districts can expect to pay about $10,000 to create sensory rooms, schools can face litigation or be forced to foot the bill for more expensive private services due to federal laws, making sensory rooms a worthwhile option to explore.
New developments and new technologies are making educational opportunities more accessible for students with disabilities. A growing range of materials are now available in the form of audiobooks and e-braille materials to aid students with hearing or sight disabilities. Microsoft has also developed a new “physical programming language” that allows blind students to use pods to create code that plays music and stories.
Resources for autistic children are also becoming more available. In England, some schools are experimenting with the use of small humanoid robots to help teach autistic children, who tend to find these robots less threatening than humans. And some show evidence of a longer attention span.
Two Cornell students have also recently announced the development of a new IPad application designed to help special education teachers simplify the data collection process when teaching autistic children. As new technologies expand, the applications of these technologies to aid in special education are likely to expand, as well.