When a child has mild to severe autism, their environment can have a very strong effect on their ability to learn and thrive. Located in the southeast, Keeler elementary school hosts a Communication, Sensory, and Social Interaction (CSSI) program that provides learning environments for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.

With the support of a grant from EducationMatters, Keeler was able to purchase additional equipment for their Sensory Room; a specifically designed space which promotes self-regulation. Within the room, there is multi-sensory equipment, which is proving to be vital and effective in treatment for children and adults who experience sensory disorders.

Through CSSI, the students of Keeler School will learn how to regulate their senses and interact with others. The goal at Keeler is for the students to be able to eventually do this without the direction of an adult. This will result in reductions of disruptive behavior. The lack of interruptions helps the students with their relationships in the classroom, with the staff and in the community as well.

After modelling the sensory room on programs in two other Calgary Board of Education Schools (University School and Emily Follensbee School), Keeler School is planning for the long-term success of the CSSI program.

The Keeler CSSI program, with enhancements through EducationMatters, will help the students reach their true academic and social potential.

This grant was made possible by generous donors who supported the Creagh Family Fund, the Public Education Enhancement Flow Thru Fund, the Schools Helping Schools Fund, and the Enhancing Education for Students with Special Needs Fund.