Case Studies

Special school

The family’s visits to the park are now a much more enjoyable experience for A.  He knows how to navigate some of the more stable equipment, as well as having more opportunities for alternative structured activities. A is beginning to tolerate increasing periods of time with his feet off the ground, with the support of the gradual exposure during visits to the park.

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Mainstream primary

The consistent use of these strategies across a variety of teachable moments both in school and at home has allowed O to engage in a vast array of his favourite outdoor activities with success. This has the overall outcome of increasing his and his family’s emotional wellbeing, while allowing O to simply enjoy favourite activities without the social anxiety of having to win the game or be the best.

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Special school

There was a lot of general knowledge about sensory gardens: plants ideas etc., but I was very anxious that it should respect the needs of the wider array of pupils in the school specifically those with Autism. I thought about the ways classrooms and the school environment were adapted to respect the challenges faced by children with Autism. It was vital that they would want to go to the garden, feel safe in it and be able to play.

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Mainstream primary

Since the implementation of the above strategies X has a clearer understanding of what is expected and what is happening throughout his day. X now a has a variety of preferred activities he can choose between. X will pick his preferred items (including outdoor sensory play) from an array of pictures on his choice board.

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Mainstream primary

Having regular opportunities across environments and throughout the day for outdoor play had multiple positive effects on X’s wellbeing. These included physical benefits such as improved sleep and increased appetite. This in turn had a direct impact on his sensory and emotional regulation and as a result reduced incidents of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated in both at home and in school.

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Mainstream post-primary

During the journey to each destination MCA staff gave S a phone with Google Maps on it showing the route to the destination and how long the journey would take. S enjoyed relaying the directions to the driver and the count down of time also helped to reduce his anxiety about the length of the journey.

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Mainstream post-primary

M required adult support to safely release energy throughout her day. The above activities contributed significantly to M’s ability to attend school, access learning and build connections with her family.

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