Teachers from The Collett School in Hemel Hempstead – a specialist school for children with learning disabilities, first approached DEMAND seeking a replacement for a chair they owned, once bought from IKEA. It provided a calm place for students to self-regulate and resulted in fewer ‘meltdowns’, often caused by different triggers encountered throughout the school day.
The chair has a fabric hood similar to a child’s pushchair, which reduces stimulation from the environment. It’s a place to go if a child is anxious or needs space to calm down and shut off from the world. The IKEA chair spins on it’s base and the teachers noticed this motion would often stimulate the students – counteracting their efforts to calm them! They were looking for a chair large enough for their older students, with a soothing rocking motion rather than spinning.
DEMAND’s university placement student Hollie, designed a rocking chair with a special hood to create an enclosed, therapeutic space blocking out some of the sights and sounds of a busy classroom.
Anu Gray, Sensory Interventions teacher at The Collett School says “The chair is their place to be when they want to be alone”.