For my ICM final, I’m collaborating with Jaqi Garcia, a teacher who works with children on the Autism spectrum and incorporates social emotional learning in her curriculum. We’re building on the “Whale Song” piece for children with sensory integration challenges, referred to by some as “Sensory Processing Disorder”. SPD is a condition where multi-sensory integration is not adequately processed in order to provide appropriate responses to the demands of an environment. This effects some people on the autism spectrum, but also includes neurologically “typical” children/adults that have mild multi-sensory integration challenges.
Processing systems work differently for every individual, we all have 1 or 2 senses that are more acute than others.
Occupational therapists find ways to anchor children with SPD using sensory stimulation that is right for the individual, working with tools such as weighted blankets, LED blankets or trampolines.
Various sensory systems include tactile, auditory, visual and proprioception, which is the sense of your gravitational center.
We would like to sync the Whale sounds and visuals with a gel pad with a magnetic that children can push around, triggering the effects on the sound.
This might seem that it would overwhelm a child with sensory sensitivities but it actually syncs the multi-sensory input (sonic, tactile and visual) in a way that is cohesive and the child has control over. This increases the communication between the processing systems, helping with integration and regulation of their nervous system.
Constructive cause and effect activities anchor all children. The tactile, auditory, visual interactivity of the “Whale Song” can also help children with attention challenges as well.
I’m going to expand on the current Whale Song:
and animate the whale and bubbles so they look more apart of the environment. I’ll map the bubbles to the marbles within the gel pad with sensors.
Uses: in home, therapeutic environments, classrooms, any place.