A Visit to Liberty Magnet and their ASD Program
On April 12, 2017, Indian River Community Foundation took a site visit to Liberty Magnet's Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) Program and their sensory room. ASD refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences (Autism Speaks). With a grant from a donor advised fund by an anonymous donor from Indian River Community Foundation, a steamroller ramp was purchased for the ASD Sensory Room in September 2016. When the brain already has difficulty processing sensory information such as textures, sounds, smells, tastes, brightness and movement, this steamroller ramp helps improve how the brain reacts with touch and movement. In improving how the brain reacts in play activities, it helps improve how the brain reacts in daily functions. In addition to this sensory room, these students have the same teachers and same classrooms throughout their elementary education. "These children depend on stability and predictability when there is already so much chaos within their brains" says Randy Arms, Student Support Specialist. With support and trust from the Principal, dedicated staff work together for the benefit of ultimately getting these students to participate into a general classroom.