Teaching Sensory Advocacy Through Calm Kits
In 2019, we started the Calm Kit Initiative as a way to help educators who support children with sensory processing disorders understand that there is often an unmet need behind challenging behaviors. While calm kits are not intended to mitigate dangerous situations, we do hope that they can be used to help children learn how to regulate themselves and teach them to advocate for their needs. Some children may find having a tool from our kit helps them focus or feel better in the wake of a stressful event at school. Sometimes a child in distress just needs to hear the message that they are seen and that their feelings are valid. Each child is different and we hope that there is a little something for everyone.
Through generous community donations and the efforts from volunteers (thank you!), we were able to assemble enough calm kits for every school in the Iowa City area, including a few in surrounding areas. With help from local Area Education Agency Autism Consultants, we came up with a list of items that could be included in our kits.
Volunteers hard at work!
Thank you to all the schools who accepted these kits!
Recipients of kits at Hoover, Twain and Alexander!
Make your own!
If you are interested in making a calm kit for an individual child, here is a list of the items we included in ours. You, of course, can tailor and swap out items as needed.