The students in Room 21 are all wonderful! So are the staff.
This year we have six students. We are very well staffed. As well as the teacher (Mrs. Shelley Redmond), we have 4 Education Assistants at any one time. These include Mrs. Fiona Roberts, Mrs Jo Kellett, Ms Wilma Tognetti, Mrs Belinda Stonehouse and Ms Melissa Pears.
We aim to work with parents, therapists, staff and the students to create a learning program that meets the needs of each student. Our program is both academic and life skills based. At any given time, the students may be at their desks, on the floor, out in the playground or enjoying a sensory experience in our wonderful “Sensory Room”. On the floor or at their desks they may be completing puzzles, drawing, writing, fine motor activities, completing maths activities, using an ipad or listening to a story. The Sensory Room is a real treat. For all of these students, the bubble tube, with its changing colours and floating fish, is a hit.
Communication is a challenge for most of the Room 21 students. We use a lot of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). One of our many forms of AAC is a PODD (Pragmatically Organised Dynamic Display) book. This involves the student pointing to a picture to indicate what they want. The students can create sentences and ask for specific objects, e.g, “I want the big, green ball”. We also use key word signs. These forms of communication relieve some of the frustration that comes with not being able to speak. Our students comprehend much more than they can communicate. We also use visual timetables so that the students know what to expect. This relieves some of the anxiety often felt by students with Autism.
Once a week we cook something delicious and healthy. We love going to the library each week for our special “Bee Assembly”. Horse riding once a fortnight through RDA (the Riding for the Disabled Association) gets us out of the classroom and into the fresh air. Most of us go swimming once a week (some of us to ALAC and some to the hydrotherapy pool at the hospital).
Room 21 is wonderful place to be!!