Amy Maplethorpe is making a world of difference for her special needs students-- all with a little paint and some tennis balls.
Maplethorpe is in the Speech and Language Department at Raymond Ellis Elementary School in Round Lake, Illinois. Some of her students with autism and down syndrome had difficulty processing information from their senses and the world around them. So she created some DIY chairs.
According to the school’s Facebook post, which has since gone viral, "Tennis balls on the seat and backrest provide an alternative texture to improve sensory regulation.”
The post was so popular that Facebook users clamored for a “how-to,” which the school gladly provided in an update for those who were inspired:
“The materials used to make the chairs included:a chair, ½ tennis balls, fabric, Modge Podge, paintbrush/paint sponge, and hot glue. First, take a chair and Modge Podge the seat and backrest and then place fabric over it. Next, modge podge over the fabric and wait for it to dry, which takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Then, hot glue tennis balls cut in half to the seat and backrest. When that dries, hot glue the excess fabric underneath the seat and behind the backrest to give it an “upholstered” look. It may also be helpful to hot glue around the tennis balls one more time for an extra hold. And with that, the chairs are done. Happy creating!”
It’s a simple reminder that we all already have everything we need to change someone’s life.