SpEd students able to enjoy school’s new Sensory Room

Ja’zareia Duhon, Lufkin High School Panther Growls staff member

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Lufkin High School has a special room that many students have not seen.

Lufkin High School’s new Sensory Room combines a range of stimuli — colors, sounds, lights and soft play objects — to help students engage and develop their senses. (Photo by JA’ZAREIA DUHON/Lufkin High School Panther Growls)

The Sensory Room is almost like a lounge, but is educational for the special education students who use it. The Sensory Room combines a range of stimuli — colors, sounds, lights and soft play objects — to help students engage and develop their senses. 

The room is designed to help students relax, refocus and recharge. It helps students deal with overwhelming feelings like anger, stress and anxiety.

“The Sensory Room is a great place for our students with sensory deficiencies to be able to come have those needs fulfilled to have a successful day,” LHS Special Education Principal Dana Bickley said.

All the colors in the room are bright neon, and everything is kind of chill and relaxed. There are also blankets, a projector screen that shows bright colors on the wall, a cylinder lava lamp and a hammock.

The room was created in memory of Joseph O. Goffney II, known as “Jo-Jo,” the late son of former Lufkin Independent School District Superintendent LaTonya Goffney. Some call the room “Jo-Jo’s Sensory Room.” Joseph O. Goffney II died earlier this year.

The room contains items for students with mental and learning disabilities and emotional disturbances, along with any student who needs a safe, quiet place to help calm themselves.

Lufkin High School has made going to high school easier for special education students like Joseph.