Special needs sensory storytime. By Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Youth Services Salt Lake County Library System [email protected] . Why do this type of storytime ?. Liam, his brother and mother.
Liam, his brother and
“I have never had the ability to take my 4 year old to story time because I can't bring her older brother even to the library let alone story time. She loved story time today and it was so nice to be able to see her enjoying the program so much and not have to worry about my son and having to grab her and leave because of his behavior. I have searched and searched and have not found any other programs for the more severely affected kids out there whatsoever.”---Monica Carpenter, parent of an autistic boy
The most recent statistics have found that Utah has the NUMBER ONE highest rate of autism in children in the country.
Utah number one in autism cases
It is sometimes said that if you know ONE person with autism, you know ONE person with autism.
“Self regulation is the nervous system’s ability to attain, maintain and change levels of arousal or alertness.” (Williams and Shellenberger, 1994)
Autistic children are very visual and often use picture symbols to designate activities and abstract concepts.
Let the children help tell the story.
Proprioception: sensing the orientation and motion of ones limb’s and body through space
Are many of these children sitting?
Weighted blankets and fidget toys are a great way to calm sensory seeking behavior.
Have parents sit with their children. Do not provide chairs unless necessary.
Autistic children love songs!
Include more songs than your regular storytime
Make songs tactile through scarves, ribbons, beanbags, parachutes, shakers or anything else you can think of
Making “snow” with a parachute during a song.
Adapt your regular storytime crafts to ones that are more tactile and less complicated
Always leave time afterwards for the kids to run around and play. Parents also want a time to socialize and meet with other parents that have autistic children.
My autistic children LOVE the bubbles and play time. I always play music afterwards too.
Myself with Christa, Liam’s mom about year after starting the Sensory Storytime.
If you have any questions or are interested in starting your own storytime for autistic children. Please contact Carrie Rogers-Whitehead at 801-944-7611 or [email protected]