School acoustics: Improving autism wellbeing

Creating suitable educational environments for special educational needs (SEN) pupils requires a lot of focus and attention, not excluding from an acoustic perspective. Since many SEN pupils are sensitive listeners, schools need to make sure they provide a good quality acoustic environment.

Autistic children are often particularly sensitive to certain sounds. This can trigger behaviours such as avoiding spaces with certain noises, covering their ears, and outbursts. These children are recognised as being auditory hypersensitive and therefore a positive and controlled acoustic environment is essential to improving their wellbeing and behaviour response.

How does noise affect SEN pupils?

You might not personally notice it, but even quiet reverberations (reflections of sound waves) in a poor acoustic space, are picked up by the ears and brain. The persistent bouncing around of a sound in a room causes your brain to work hard to identify it as a single source of noise and make sense of your surroundings.

This constant bombardment of sounds can cause fatigue and loss of concentration in every child and teacher, never mind hypersensitive listeners.

Improving and implementing acoustic treatment into educational spaces provides the opportunity for teaching and learning to be vastly improved through clearer communication, concentration, and reduced stress, leading to improved wellbeing and academic attainment.

High-quality sound environments are required through school building regulations, and you can read more about SEN requirements for acoustic spaces here. However, meeting minimum standards is not the best way for your SEN pupils to reach their potential. Implementing acoustic treatment that is unique to your school’s needs, how people in your buildings experience sound and how it affects them, is a much better way to create an enhanced educational environment.

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How can SEN schools improve their acoustic environment?

For SEN schools, using only Class A soundproofing and absorption is important. These are the most efficient and control the reverberation and sound transmission in these important educational spaces. At least some of these should be at ear height, so they should be robust.

Using ceiling tiles or suspended baffles is also recommended for soundproofing and blocking as the ceiling is the most open space in a room with a large surface area. If used correctly, these can absorb both high and low frequencies.

Conclusion: contact Sound Zero today

All Headteachers, School Governors, and architects should consider how they can implement acoustic treatment into their schools for their sensitive listeners.

At Sound Zero, we can be the acoustic consultants your school needs in order to upgrade your classroom and learning spaces with an acoustic environment that can enhance your SEN pupils experience at school from now and for years to come.

Our team is available to discuss your school acoustics needs to ensure you select the right product from our line. We have a range of products that include moss wallscork panelsinsulation foamacoustic foam, and wall panel pro. All of these acoustic panel options can be completely customised to your colour, size, fabric, and other product requests.

Whether you need maximum noise reduction or slight adjustments to your classroom acoustics, we can help. We have helped countless schools and organisations improve their school acoustics over the years. Please do not hesitate to contact us today to go over your unique acoustic treatment that can help your students achieve better through improved concentration.

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Speak to us about improving your acoustic environment

If you’d like to talk to one of our experts, either give us a call on 020 3984 2000, email us info@sound-zero.com or fill out the form and we'll get back to you ASAP.