HOW TO USE THIS VITAL TOOL WITH PUPILS WITH DIFFICULT BEHAVIOUR.
Since the dawn of multi-sensory rooms, light rooms or whatever you may happen to call your special place, one piece of equipment has always featured. Not front and centre but always stuck in the corner and nearly always backed by mirrors. The good old bubble tube, small ones, tall ones, interactive tubes, they all come in many shapes and sizes but in the end they are all the same. Air bubbling up through a tube of water and for such a simple concept they are incredibly popular and this popularity alone makes them a great tool for working with individuals with challenging behaviour. Why? And how?
For many individuals who display behaviour that we may consider challenging they have a significant difficulty with sensory processing. They struggle to tune out unnecessary sensory input and become overwhelmed, they need to practice their skill of sensory regulation and so we begin with, “Just Looking”. The bubble tube with its bright light source, the sound of the bubbles, the feel of the vibration or smooth outer surface becomes our great focal point. If the individual, you are working with wants to sit and stare at the bubble tube don’t be afraid to let them. In fact, let’s make it an individual target. Ryan will focus on the bubble tube for X seconds/minutes without prompting. We are looking for the individual to get lost in their interest for the bubble tube. Don’t worry about obsession or not communicating. We want them to have a period of time where they are not being overwhelmed by a whole range of sensations. We want to teach them to focus on one thing and to not be distracted and overwhelmed by other sensory stimuli. One word of caution, for this to succeed the bubble tube needs to be the sole focus and yet nearly every bubble tube is backed by mirrors.
Adding a switch into the system, which most recent bubble tubes allow, increases the opportunities for developing communication skills. Switch off the bubble tube and look for any sign from the individual that they have recognised the change. Leaning closer to the tube, looking at you, looking at the switch – any indication, then immediately switch the tube back on. This behaviour can then be shaped up to become purposeful communication.
The tactile impact of the bubble tube can also be utilised with individuals simply holding or hugging the bubble tube. Many children seek to crawl behind the tube, hug it or hold it tight. If you are familiar with the strategies involving deep pressure this then is the individual seeking deep pressure on their own terms, without other people’s involvement. In this way it can be a great tool if you are aware that a bad day lies ahead for the individual. Say, because their transport was delayed or someone they really don’t like is going to be in their vicinity for most of the day. Start their day off with some deep pressure work, such as letting them have time hugging the tube. There is an awful lot more to this than just hugging a tube, but I haven’t got space here and now to cover it!
This is just a dip into using the bubble tube to help out individuals with autism, but do try out some of the ideas and let us know how you get on!
An essential element to any multi-sensory room, bubble tubes and bubble columns are captivating pieces of sensory equipment, the combination of ever-changing bubbles and colors creates a magical focus point in any darkened area. Bubble tubes are perhaps the most distinctive accessory in multi-sensory environments, whether it is in a calming room or an interactive room, the array of changing colors and moving bubbles gets everyone attracted to its relaxing effects.
People with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) get a positive response when watching bubble tubes in action, since they provide a tracking activity that helps to improve visual development, color recognition, visual perception and communications skills. The bubble tubes themselves can promote and enhance your client's level of relaxation, creating a calming effect.
Who can resist the soothing and captivating sights and sounds of bubbles? Our selection of sensory bubble tubes are intended for relaxation or stimulation with a variety of functions and color options.
Bubble columns are a wonderful treat for any home or office, but are especially beneficial for children, teens and adults with sensory processing disorders. Our bubble light columns are designed to be used in a variety of ways: Let them bubble away in relaxation mode to help improve visual tracking, connect them with our padded colored cubes to play basic interactive games, or power them with a Super Switch for advanced functionality that builds hand-eye coordination and memory.