DENHAM SPRINGS — Adapted physical education teacher Lisa Dugas at Juban Parc Elementary School was recently awarded a $500 grant from Cox Communication through its Cox Charities Foundation to create a sensory room at the school.

While the sensory room is available to all students, research shows they can be especially helpful to calm and stimulate the senses in children with special needs, according to a news release. Sensory issues can be common among children with special needs. Sensory issues include sensitivity to smells, touch, texture, taste, light and sound.

“This room provides all our students and their teachers with a place where they can take a "brain break,’” Dugas said.

“Our students often need a place to go to just calm down, and this room will give them that special place and provide them with various items that can impact all the senses,” she said.

Juban Parc Elementary Principal Lauren Kennedy thanked Dugas for taking the initiative to apply for the grant. She also thanked Cox Communications for its willingness to invest in the well-being of the students.

Dugas said the idea of using multisensory rooms to help people with disabilities started in the late 1970s. Much research has been conducted, and sensory rooms seem to best assist students with autism, she said.