Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Larson, Susan


Meeting the sensory needs of students is often currently confined to classroom modifications. Teachers try to meet sensory, social, and emotional needs through human-developed methods such as fidgets, lighting covers, flexible seating, occupational therapy, and structuring activities. There is a growing body of research suggesting that sensory needs of students on the autism spectrum can be met through natural elements commonly found in outdoor environments. Frequently common barriers to success in the classroom for students with autism include, high anxiety, inability to sustain attention, and lack of motivation to complete tasks. The purpose of this thesis was to analyze way that adding natural elements into the classroom can meet the emotional, social and sensory needs of students with autism spectrum disorders.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis