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Colour Tent Case Study - ’J’

Colour Tent Case Study - 'J'

J' has a complex neurological condition and severe CVI.

'J' came into class very upset, biting and pulling at the gloves, which were protecting his hands, and using repetitive loud vocalisations of distress.

He sat in his wheelchair turning his head and rolling his eyes with body and facial expressions of extreme anxiety. The noise in the classroom was just too much sensory stimulation, clearly sensory overload.

In response to his distress I gently squeezed his shoulders and spoke his name slowly with emphasis on the sounds, I moved my hands from his shoulders with smooth massage movements down his arms and told him my name.Within this introduction I began to move 'J's wheelchair slowly to a quiet area with a narrow single orange tent. 'J' was positioned within the tent facing outwards for the purpose of a disruption free time and for observation.

Before entering the colour tent 'J' continued to exhibit very anxious behaviours. After entering the tent his immediate reaction was to still his eye movement, as he gazed at the colour surrounding him. He began to relax from the biting and pulling on the glove and eventually this stopped after 10 minutes of gradual calming. 'J''s vocalisations softened from loud to soft and stopped after 30 minutes. 'J' had spent 30 minutes with visual attending and locating through gazing and scanning within the tent. He then began to smile and laugh while also making happy sounds with his breathing.This began to increase and may have led to seizure activity, so he was slowly removed from the tent and touch used, as before, to calm him, while speaking his name. When calm but still happy 'J' was moved back to the tent and he smiled with recognition of where he was, expressed by his body stillness and his calm visual gazing and scanning.

After 10 more minutes to ensure calmness, 'J' was moved from the quiet tent area to the classroom tent, where he sat quietly and happily with all the surrounding classroom sounds. 10 minutes later 'J' joined the class, was re-positioned in his standing frame and was happy and responsive to interaction with staff supporting him in an activity.

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