Soothing the Senses

(Supplementary to Chapter 4, Body and Soul, in Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Inclusive Classroom, 2nd Edition: How to Reach and Teach Students With ASDs)

More Strategies for Soothing the Senses

→Go Soft: Print worksheets on gray, tan, or other pastel-colored paper. These soft colors do not reflect as much light as brighter colors and white paper do.

→Incoming: Avoid surprise contacts. Generally try to approach students from the front so they can see you coming.

→Avoid Space Invaders: When they are in line, let sensitive students stand slightly apart from the line or at the back (to minimize accidental bumping). Give them options to avoid crowded spaces.

→Eating Out: If the lunchroom is overwhelming, look for alternative places these students can eat.

→Sticky Situations: Offer the choice of glue sticks, paste, squirt glue, tape, or other adhesive if certain textures are intolerable.

→Sounds of Silence: Provide earplugs or headphones with no music, just to filter out excess noise.

→Graceful Gliding: Cover the bottoms of chair legs with cut tennis balls or less-obtrusive adhesive felt pads.

→Do What Makes No Scents: Minimize unnecessary odors in the classroom. Purchase only unscented markers; use unscented hand lotion; avoid eating hot food in the classroom; encourage your school to use eco-friendly unscented cleaning solutions. (Everyone will benefit from not inhaling those unnecessary chemical additives.)


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