Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

ECLC of New Jersey's Special Education School Receives Grant from Investors Bank: ECLC of New Jersey's Chatham School for Students with Special Needs Received a $1,500 Grant from the Investors Foundation for a New Sensory Room to Provide Therapy for the Growing Number of Students with Autism

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

ECLC of New Jersey's Special Education School Receives Grant from Investors Bank: ECLC of New Jersey's Chatham School for Students with Special Needs Received a $1,500 Grant from the Investors Foundation for a New Sensory Room to Provide Therapy for the Growing Number of Students with Autism

Article excerpt

"It was a great pleasure to personally see the great work and love given to the students of ECLC," said Investors Assistant Vice President and Chatham Branch Manager Gregory Schmidt. "I was honored to be able to provide the Grant on behalf of Investors Bank and Investors Foundation."

ECLC is celebrating its 30th year in a former Chatham public school building. During that time, the student population has dramatically changed, requiring new tools and techniques to support them. Three decades ago, ECLC students primarily were classified with learning disorders, such as dyslexia. Today, about one-third are diagnosed with autism or another disability with a behavioral component.

For students with autism and certain other disabilities, the everyday world at times can become overwhelming. Walking into a classroom might seem like walking into a crowded nightclub, with flashing lights and booming music. At any point in the day, students may start to feel overloaded and "dysregulated." In contrast, there is another group of students who are "under-reactive." These students need to increase their alertness and activity level to succeed at school.

The Sensory Room creates a new, permanent space to help students smooth out their emotional states. It creates an atmosphere of soothing calm and quiet. The room is a "Snoezelen Room" and delivers stimuli to various senses, using dim, lighting effects, color, gentle pressure, sounds, music, scents and vibration.

A therapist, teacher, or aide always accompanies students when they use the room. Students come to relax or take a break from class, when they are over-stimulated or during times of stress. They can also earn time in the room as part of their behavior plan. Each student has a customized list of activities and uses for the Sensory Room.

ECLC stands for offering "Education, Careers & Lifelong Community" to children and adults with special needs, including autism, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. …

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