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'Comfort Corner' sensory room at Hunter’s Green Elementary helps kids with autism, anxiety relax

Fluffy hamburger blanket is a big hit
Posted: 4:00 AM, Feb 03, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-03 17:53:40-05
comfort corner sensory room

TAMPA, Fla. — “Comfort Corner” sensory room at Hunter’s Green Elementary in Tampa helps students with living with autism, special needs and anxiety calm down and find peace.

Brooker, a fourth-grader with special needs, can’t stop laughing as he crawls into a giant fluffy hamburger.

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"I'm a hamburger," Brooker said.

The cozy calming device is a hot stop inside Comfort Corner, a new sensory room at Hunter’s Green Elementary in Tampa. It is one of the biggest of its kind in the Tampa Bay area.

The state-of-the-art safe haven is for students living with autism and anxiety, a place for them to escape the overwhelming outside world.

“This room can be utilized by any student to help them be more successful,” says Joni Cagle, an exceptional student education teacher at Hunter’s Green.

Hanging chairs, weighted blankets and smooth touchable objects are everywhere. There is even soft music playing with the lighting dimmed down.

The room was partially funded by Sydney Has a Sister, a local nonprofit that benefits both children with autism and their siblings.