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Spedteach29 08-10-2019 02:07 PM

Where should a calm down area be?
Iíve taught self-contained autism/msd for 9 years. This year Iím moving to a resource position for K/1 and Iím so nervous! I feel like Iím starting over in learning how to support my students needs when they are with a gen ed teacher instead of me most of the day.

I have a million questions, but hereís my first. I have a 1st Grader on my caseload that has autism and is high functioning. No academic concerns (fairly gifted), but receives support for social/behavior. His parents told me at open house that last year he frequently ran out of the room, cleared shelves, turned over tables, and became very aggressive with peers and staff. Last year he had a calm down area in the sped room that he was taken to, but his parents asked that we create a calm down space in his first grade room so that he has to learn to remain in the room.

So, what does this look like? How do I teach the teacher to implement it? Should this be a desk or a bean bag area? How long should I let him meltdown in his room before trying to intervene? Help!

Opal 08-11-2019 06:32 AM

Not saying it will always be successful but..
I would work with the teacher to create this area in a back corner...make it soft, with headphones and some sensory things to hold and squeeze...I would also work with the reg ed teacher to teach how to use calm down space to the whole class...not single anyone out as I know there will be others that would benefit from the how to use it....put a timer in the space...tell kids to flip the timer so they know how long they can stay there....put up visuals that show deep breaths...Im sure there are other great ideas out there but for me I think how to use it and why it's there needs to be taught to the whole of luck

GoodEnough85 08-11-2019 08:05 AM

I had a 2nd grader
last year in my sped room who needed this and the PT recommended a "cave."

We hung a sheet/curtain over three sides of a rectangle table with a Kinder mat, a pillow and a comfort toy in there. He was allowed to access it at will. Sometimes he could recognize triggers in himself BEFORE the meltdown and put himself there. Sometimes he went in with a fidget and just chilled. Other times we put his work on a clipboard and he took that with him.

You could also use a small tent or similar.

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