2016 Teacher Winner
SCHOOL: Vaughan Elementary School, Cobb County Schools
SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER
Kathryn Ike has been teaching in the Cobb County school district for 4 years. After graduating from Georgia College and State University in May of 2012, she obtained her first teaching position at Vaughan Elementary School in a self-contained classroom with students with Moderate Intellectual Disabilities. She quickly fell in love with the job and knew this is where her career would take off. Currently, Kathryn is still teaching at Vaughan Elementary in the same self-contained setting. She has enjoyed watching her students grow each year as most of her students spend multiple years with her. Kathryn has furthered her teaching career by obtaining her Master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Adapted Curriculum from Georgia Southern University. She plans to make education a lifetime career.
PROJECT: Multi-Sensory Room
Multi-Sensory rooms and the equipment that are seen in them are designed to create a calming and yet stimulating environment for individuals with sensory needs. This room will be set up for all students but will be geared more towards those with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing delays. A study conducted in 2004 showed that at least 1 in 20 children’s daily lives are affected by helping those individuals with a sensory processing disorder and/or autism have a successful school day.
The proposed multi-sensory room will be used for education, therapy, leisure, and recreation. There are countless reports that state how the use of such a room can improve mood, reduce disruptive behaviors, decrease anxiety, improve communication and enhanced social interactions. This is important because individuals with autism or a sensory processing disorder can over respond to the simplest things such as light, sound, or the feeling of their clothing on their skin. This specific room has specified equipment and activities that benefit specific sensory processing difficulties. Because this room is designed to meet the needs of all, not just one sensory need will be addressed. In the Multi-sensory room the following sensory needs will be met: visual, motor, tactile, and auditory.