Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New digital sensory room enables autistic pupils to regulate senses more quickly

A new digital sensory room enables autistic pupils to quickly regulate their senses by using pioneering technology.

Users can build their own unique profile by selecting their favourite stimuli. These stimuli can be accessed instantly if a pupil becomes over or under stimulated, meaning pupils can quickly regulate their senses and return to lessons faster.

A space to regulate senses and relax outside of lessons

Ambitious about Autism’s TreeHouse School has become the first special school in the UK to invest in the software, known as Cubbie.

The booth can be accessed via wheelchair ramp and offers a choice of three chairs: hard, soft and swinging. Pupils have a choice of hundreds of different videos, including sky and sea scenesm as well as various soothing soundscapes and glowing coloured lights.

Joanna Dziopa, Head of TreeHouse School, said the technology will provide pupils with a much-needed space to regulate their senses and relax outside lessons.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have this fantastic new resource which is already helping our pupils balance their sensory needs and have a rewarding day at school.”

“Our approach to education is centred around improving the quality of life of autistic children and young people while they are in education, and beyond. Cubbie share this vision and is paving the way towards it with this brilliant software,” she said.

Cubbie was developed by the parents of autistic children

Cubbie was developed by David and Diane McIntryre, who are parents to two autistic daughters. The pair believe that the technology could be beneficial for people experiencing stress or anxiety as well as for neurodiverse pupils.

Mr McIntyre said: “Every autistic child and young person deserves to have a positive experience of education and fulfil their potential, but we know that sensory dysregulation can stand in the way of this.

“The Cubbie is already providing enormous benefits to neurodiverse pupils across the UK and Ireland, helping them to balance their senses and return to lessons faster, meaning they have a better day at school.”

TreeHouse pupils have designated slots during the school week in which they can use the Cubbie, however, it is also available for them to access in any instance of sensory dysregulation, stress or simply for enjoyment.

A number of pupils have already had sensory profiles built and are benefiting hugely from the software. It is also available to school staff outside of learning hours.

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