Hendricks County- It is estimated, according to the CDC, that 1 in 68 children today have some form of Autism. Students with autism have unique needs that once met can allow them to be successful in their school programs and adult life. There is a conscientious effort through schools and agencies to strive to provide materials and support to allow them to find their own individual successes.
Through the North West Hendricks Education Foundation, a fund of the Hendricks County Community Foundation, Tri-West Middle School applied for and received a grant totaling $1,521.18 in order to purchase sensory items. These sensory items are both able to travel with the student to the classrooms or can be used in a sensory integration room and are intended to reduce frustrations and overwhelming feelings that students with autism might encounter in their daily activities. Through the use to these sensory items, class attendance increased and challenging behaviors decreased significantly after their introduction into the students’ program. Students with autism are better able to participate in the classroom with their peers and remain in the classroom focused on an academic lesson for a longer period of time.
Ms. Yohn, one of the teachers of students with special needs, stated that, “I am so thankful for the grant that the Tri-West special education department received! It has allowed us to purchase a variety of sensory items to better meet the students’ needs. The items that we now have are helpful to students within the general education setting, as well as in the specific sensory areas within the resource rooms.”
This grant allows Tri West Middle School to work each day in achieving its mission: a collaborative effort of students, parents, staff, and community will challenge all individual to become life-long learners. In a safe, technology rich environment, students will be empowered to develop communication and critical thinking skills, and maximize their unique potential as productive, responsible and respectful citizens.