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The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation:

Omaha Public Schools in a public school district located in Omaha Nebraska. It is the

largest district in Nebraska serving thousands of students. Omaha Public Schools goal is

“Every student, every day, prepared for success.” One particular school within Omaha

Public Schools is Oak Valley Elementary. This school is special for multiple reasons. Oak

Valley not only serves neighborhood children, but also provides a special education

program for students with special needs including a multi-handicapped program and an

early childhood special education program as well. Oak Valley strives for success with all

students, including those students with differences and creating an environment that

utilizes the unique individuals helping them to achieve their highest potential.

Oak Valley is also one of the low-income title one schools in Omaha. Title I schools

work with a diverse population of students. These students often struggle in multiple areas

and are from a wide-range of backgrounds. I teach in the multi-handicapped classroom,

considered to be the alternate curriculum program teacher. The students in my classroom

are unique. The demographics of these students are diverse with ages ranging from 3rd to

5th grade, and the student’s cultures are identified as White, Black or African American, and

Hispanic. The majority of the students I educate and work with daily have been diagnosed

with Autism.

Students diagnosed with Autism typically also have struggle with sensory

processing disorder. This affects students in all areas of life, but especially in the

educational environment. There have been multiple research studies completed to show

that interventions are beneficial to successful student outcomes. There has also been

multiple research studies stating the connection between Autism and sensory processing,
but there is very little research regarding sensory interventions with students diagnosed

with Autism, struggling with sensory processing. I will be completing an action research

study evaluating the use of certain sensory tools on helping students staying calm.

Sensory tools can be very costly especially for a Title I (low-income) public school in

Omaha Nebraska. I am asking for funding assistance through a grant. I need funding

assistance so that I can complete an action research study. Through studying and research I

have created a sensory intervention to attempt with my students. Sensory interventions

have proven to leave a calming effect on students for up to 20 minutes after having

received the intervention (Parker & O’Brien, 2011). According to Dawson and Walting,

listening to music helps put autistic students and students with abnormal sensory at a

peaceful state of mind (2000). After continuing research I have put together a sensory

intervention for students. The funding if awarded will go directly towards the cost for

funding the research. Money will be used directly to buy the sensory tools needed for the

sensory intervention.

The sensory intervention will consist of six total weeks. All students will allowed to

use a sensory item of their choice after having learned on day one of the intervention how

to properly use the sensory object. Students can pick from the following sensory tools:

weighted vest, therapy sand, or theraputty. Students will use sensory objects two times

throughout the day for 15 minutes while listening to relaxing music. The first sensory

intervention will be at 9:00 and the second will be at 1:00. Data will be collected after

students receive the intervention keeping track of behaviors using a data collection sheet.

The intervention will continue for six weeks. Sensory interventions are proven to be much

more effective if they are child-centered and tailored to each individuals unique needs
(Schaaf, Benevides, Kelly & Maillouz-Maggio, 2012). This was my goal when creating the

sensory intervention, which is why it is important to have the sensory tools I’m requesting

funding for. Providing each student with all of the sensory tools will help individualized

and tailor the tools to the particular students unique needs.

Funding provided from the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation will go directly

towards the sensory tools needed for the intervention. The students will benefit from the

sensory experience and the funds will go directly to supplies needed. This is explained in

detail in the budget. Thank you for considering Oak Valley Elementary for this grant.


Dylan Doggett


Dawson, G., & Watling, R. (2000). Interventions to facilitate auditory, visual, and motor

integrations in autism: A review of the evidence. Journal of Autism and

Developmental Disorders, 30(5), 415-421. Retrieved January 31, 2018.

Parker, N., & O'Brien, P. (2011). Play therapy-reaching the child with autism. International

Journal of Special Education, 26(1), 80-87. Retrieved January 29, 2018.

Schaaf, R. C., Benevides, T. W., Kelly, D., & Mailloux-Maggio, Z. (2012). Occupational therapy

and sensory integration for children with autism: A feasibility, safety, acceptability

and fidelity study. Autism, 16(3), 321-327. Retrieved April 4, 2018.