Interoceptive awareness is gaining attention for its ability to help students achieve more in school, improve their social interactions and increase their general sense of well-being.
The senses of taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing help individuals determine if food smells appetizing or spoiled or if water feels soothingly warm or scalding hot. Interoception, a lesser known sense, helps individuals feel and understand what is going on inside their body; for example, when their stomach or bladder feels full or when their heartbeat is fast and their muscles tensed.
Interoception sessions help students
perceive information from their body so they may respond appropriately. A
student sensing a rapid heartbeat during an exam may respond by taking deep,
slow breaths. Another student, sensing his muscles tense up during a game with
a classmate, may remind himself “it’s only a game” and focus on being a “good
Ultimately, interoception sessions help individuals better manage their behaviors, emotions and thoughts to improve success at school, at work and in their personal lives.
Contributions help LGS stay informed
on the latest autism-related research and methods, and incorporate them into
student services and supports.
Sensory activities help students and adults experience success at school, at work and in their personal lives. Chewing gum, for example, reduces anxiety and improves concentration. A few jumping jacks or push-ups increase energy and attention.
Linden Grove School staff collaborate to create a personal sensory plan for each student. A plan might include:
Walking – taking a brief walk at specified intervals.
Brushing – brushing the body with a small surgical brush.
Therapeutic listening – listening to carefully selected music.
Fidgets – objects to keep students’ hands busy.
Desk accommodations – standing desk, specialized seating, etc.
Objects to chew – pencil toppers, chewable jewelry, and more.
Push-ups, jumping – includes push-ups against a wall or jumping on a trampoline.
During the day, if a student is losing focus or becoming overly stressed a staff member might ask, “Do you need a break?” Ultimately, staff work with students to help them identify when they are feeling stressed or fatigued and the tools they can use to help them adjust and get back on track.
Contributions make sensory supports
and resources possible.
Small class sizes enable teachers to provide
individualized attention and encourage active participation among all students
to increase academic achievement. More importantly, small class sizes boost
student self-esteem which positively impacts
students’ long-term ability to learn and interact positively with peers.
Linden Grove School (LGS) maintains staff to
student ratios of 1:3 to 1:7 depending upon age and need. LGS program staff
utilize evidence-based practices (EBPs) and carefully selected educational
resources to encourage student learning and achievement.
Contributions make this possible.
The school relies on contributions to fund the
gap between tuition and the actual cost of providing its specialized education
and supports. The “gap” typically ranges from $1,700 to $3,000 per student each
Social Skills classes and one-on-one sessions not only help LGS students improve social interactions, they also provide students with tools to help them respond effectively to problems at school, in their personal lives, and—as they mature—in adult life. One tool LGS staff utilize with students is asking them to consider: “How big is the problem?” For example:
Small problems can be solved on one’s own: a broken pencil or losing a game.
Medium problems may require some help: trouble with a math problem or a lost coat.
Big problems need big help! Examples include a serious illness or disaster.
Once students learn to identify the size of the problem, they learn small or medium problems need small or medium reactions such as saying “It’s ok, it;s not a big deal,” or asking another person for help. Further, a BIG reaction to a small problem can negatively impact relationships with others—yelling and screaming over a lost game may discourage future invitation to play.
LGS social skills classes and supports are critical for success in school and life. The extent of these supports depends on contributions.
Linden Grove School offers traditional classroom experiences with peers as well as one-on-one supports in speech, occupational therapy, and social skills. This unique combination increases student achievement, and gives students the skills and self-confidence for long-term success.
LGS’s team of specialists provide intensive supports to help students with communication, coordination, social interactions, and more. Classroom experiences help students:
Positively interact with peers and teachers
Adapt to new rules and routines
Build self-esteem through classroom activities and presentations
More than anything else, classroom experiences create a sense of belonging – a feeling of being connected to and accepted by others. A sense of belonging not only increases student engagement, it encourages confidence which helps students face challenges and achieve success in high school and beyond.
Contributions ensure the continuation
of 1:1 intensive supports in combination with traditional classroom
celebrity Magdalena Monteverde
hosts a “Find the Deed Treasure Hunt” in a haunted mansion on Halloween. The
winning contestant could receive $1 million! Magdalena Monteverde wants the
deed to the house—not because she wants the house, but because she thinks it
will lead her to ‘the greatest treasure of all.’
That’s the premise of CASPER the Friendly Musical performed
by The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) at the Taft Theatre.
Linden Grove School’s Facebook page recently shared a story about Agility Angels, a volunteer organization in Toledo, Ohio, utilizing the sport of dog agility to help individuals with autism develop social skills, physical abilities and self-confidence. LGS parents, supporters, and other followers responded with requests for information on local canine programs for individuals on the spectrum.
LGS’s participation in the Great Pumpkin Race—an annual fundraiser benefitting the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati—offers a unique opportunity to challenge the creativity and problem-solving skills of some of the school’s 6-8 team students.