Monday, May 22, 2017

Regulation Rendezvous-- Preferential Seating

Today's Regulation Rendezvous will focus on the use of Preferential Seating. 

Preferential seating means that a student’s seat is placed in a location that is most beneficial for his/her learning. Preferential seating is often necessary for a student with autism. Organizing physical space to minimize the negative impact of classroom stimulation is an important educational consideration. To the extent possible, furniture and classroom space should be arranged so that a student with AS/HFA is not bombarded with any more stimulation than is necessary.

Below are some things to consider:

  • Seat the student close to the teaching areas – within 3 – 4 feet when possible. This way the teacher can monitor student progress. Also, the student will be less likely to be distracted by interfering stimuli.
  • It is also helpful to have the student facing away from the noisiest or busiest parts of the classroom.
  • Seat the child with autism in close proximity to a teacher-selected peer partner(s). This will allow the child with autism to be able to model his/her response from a good peer example. It will also give the student a support other than the teacher when he/she needs additional guidance.
  • Many students with AS/HFA benefit from having their own independent work area or office-like arrangement for part of the instructional day. This can look a variety of ways. One suggestion is a desk separated from the general classroom by a divider or bookcase. This will further reduce distractions during independent work time. 
We love the use of a study carrel to provide an independent work area. Tabletop or full cubby carrels can be purchased. 

Jennifer Jette, Vandalia-Butler School District
Beth Young, Springfield City Schools

DIY study carrels can be made with a tri-fold board or two folders. 

Sometimes preferential seating includes adaptive seating options which can be used in a variety of classroom situations including seatwork, sitting at the carpet, or in a home base location. Adaptive seating options provide various benefits such as:

Increased Physical Boundaries

Anne Rosenbaum, Kettering City Schools

Increased Visual Boundaries

Emily Ottmar, Mad River Local Schools

Core Support 

Vestibular (Movement) Input

Hokki stool

place tennis balls on alternating chair legs for vestibular input!

Proprioceptive (Deep Pressure) Input
Kate Pennington, Kettering City Schools
Rachel Hatton, Centerville City Schools

Taylor Ruef, Mad River Local Schools

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