In 2018, Boneyard recognized that some students on the autism spectrum required a place to get away from competitions, if only for a few minutes. The noise, sights, and excitement of an FRC competition proved far too stimulating for them and they experienced overload.
To meet their needs, the Boneyard outfitted and staffed quiet rooms (dubbed Quiet Space to fit the Deep Space theme) at all of the FRC competitions in North Carolina. These were rooms with low lighting; puzzles and trinkets for sensory soothing; and a carpeted area to lie down. They were a place to get away, to calm down, return to normal, then return to the competition.
Boneyard knew that such a room would be beneficial for some people. They did not realize just how many people it would help.
In the first competition, the quiet room received more than 150 visits from people who just needed to get away and re-focus.
The quiet room was a huge success at all of the competitions that first year. Along we way, Boneyard learned many things about running an effective quiet room. If you are planning or considering a quiet room, you may want to read about what we learned.
For your help, we have also put together a handbook to help you if you are considering putting together a quiet room.