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Case Study - Autism East Midlands: Sutherland House School

Sutherland House School based in Nottingham, is one of the specialist services provided by Autism East Midlands. It is a non-maintained special school for 94 students with autism aged 3-19 years. Autism East Midlands have provided a specialist education for children and young people with autism since 1968.

sutherland-house

The Specialist School is supported by multi-disciplinary teams including Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists. These teams all work closely with experienced teachers and teaching assistants to create a personalised pathway that caters for the needs of the individual student.

The pupils who attend have a wide range of complex needs, many of which can impact on their learning. These encompass challenges including mild to severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning needs, complex needs including autistic spectrum condition, associated behavioural issues, sensory impairment, social difficulties, and speech and language disorders.

cutting-the-ribbon Sensory Room Official Open Day with special appearance from Actor James Alexandrou. From Left: Peter Saunders, MD, Experia; James Alexandrou; Jane Howson, CEO, Autism East Midlands; Marie Brown, Regional Development Executive, Lord's Taverners

 

Autism East Midlands applied for a grant from Experia’s charity partner Lord’s Taverners who in turn received support from BT. These grants provide funding for young people to develop their skills with organised sports days and fundraising activities. With a generous £25,000 grant, the staff at Sutherland House School  were able to invest in a state-of-the-art sensory facility developed by our in-house team to meet the complex and diverse needs of pupils at the school.

sensory-room Students and staff enjoy interacting with equipment in new MILE room

The Sensory facility includes;

  1. Feature-rich M.I.L.E Sensory Room featuring the following innovative and interactive equipment:
  • M.I.L.E Sensory Area: to give a calm controlled environment (children have control of colours and themes)
  • IRiS Bubble Tube: to provide the room with mesmerising and calming effects
  • Fibre Optics: to give visual effects whilst being tactile and safe to touch
  • LED Projector: to project a range of images with a customisable selection of effects wheels
  • Infinity Tunnels: to give visual effects ideal for social interaction and colour recognition
  • Vibro Plinths and Sound System: to provide audio and vibration to assist with M.I.L.E Scenarios effects and development
  1. Sensory Integration (SI) room which features a customisable swing and a range of wall and floor soft play padding
  1. State-of-the-art portable interactive floor system, fully armed with a catalogue of mesmerizing and educational scenarios combined with responsive technology allowing the user to: walk through a tropical fish pond, tread and splat paint-filled balloons, and run through the autumn leaves.
sensory-mat Pupils and staff take part in Interactive scenarios on the Portable Floor Projection System

Louise Pennington, Speech and Language Therapy Team Leader at Autism East Midlands said:

“Autism East Midlands and Sutherland House School have benefited from working closely with Experia over the last 9 years to create and develop our sensory learning resources in both our children’s and adults services. The team at Experia are a pleasure to work with and have a good understanding of how to work with schools and services to create appropriate, exciting and engaging sensory learning experiences for individuals with autism. Always professional and creative with limited budgets. Following the opening of our new school building, Experia designed and installed our sensory M.I.L.E, our Sensory integration room and our portable interactive floor. The training team provided support and training and were sensitive to all our requests and questions!

All the students enjoy access to their sensory learning spaces, and we have had very positive feedback from parents/carers. Many of our students have sensory processing difficulties, and are sensory learners. The opportunity to access the resources like the M.I.L.E room cannot be underestimated, as it enables learning in a range of ways. Some children use the M.I.L.E to access a range of social and academic learning activities, other children use the room to ‘get ready’ for learning. The equipment and technology enables many skills such as choice-making and requesting and children find the environment both stimulating and motivating. Many children are more able to improve their communication when their sensory needs are met, and our sensory environments have a positive impact on this.”

 

Jan Wdowczyk, Marketing Manager at Experia, said:

“I’m proud of Experia being part of another brilliant sensory project, all made possible by Lord’s Taverners and BT’s generous funding. It gives me great pleasure knowing that our sensory specialists and designers have had such a positive influence in helping the children at Sutherland House School develop.”

Experia are here to assist you!

Call on 0800 612 6077 or send an email to info@experia-innovations.co.uk to learn how we can help you with your next Sensory Project.

 

The Experia Team

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