Many of you know that the lunchroom may be the one of the most hectic parts of a school day. Most classes have a very finite time allotted to get in, get served, eat and get cleaned up. Add in the noise factor, the glare of overhead fluorescent lights and the smells emanating from the kitchen and for children with sensory processing challenges this can be a recipe for disaster.
Having options to keep noise levels down is a must! I know one principal who would come and dim the lights and voila! the loud chattering dimmed as well in response. The Yacker Tracker is another creative way to monitor sound levels while providing a visual cue for guidelines. Green means healthy sound levels while yellow and red indicate the need to calm and quiet down. Cozy Shades may be the perfect solution for fluorescent lights which may be causing excess glare from laminate top cafeteria tables. For students that need extra deep touch pressure input to help with calming and body awareness, try a weighted lap pad (slide inside a small pillowcase in case of spills!).
Just as in the classroom, practicing good sensory lifestyle strategies like these may help calm cafeteria chaos and promote a happy meal for all!