• By M. Adam and C. Mayhand
  • Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sensory Storytime: Developmentally Appropriate, Inclusive

Sensory Storytime for All Ages is a storytime that welcomes everyone while focusing especially on children with special needs and their caregivers. Therapeutic activities springing from picture books should engage children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory integration challenges.

Why is the library offering Sensory Storytime? This program gives freedom to children with special needs within a structured space. It aims to include families who may feel excluded by regular storytime expectations of children such as sitting still, listening quietly, or understanding stories with short glimpses of illustrations when a book is held up.

How Is Sensory Storytime Different from Regular Storytime? Regular children's storytimes may or may not include the following features which distinguish Sensory Storytime: deliberate sensory input, more interaction and freedom of movement, use of visual schedules, and built-in play time (i.e. one story followed by activities and play time). When presenting Sensory Storytime, librarians are sensitive to delayed motor skills and to the possibility of noise or crowd issues. Additionally, caregivers are welcomed and accepted without feeling they have to apologize for their children's behavior beyond basic concerns for safety.

For more about libraries and autism, click here. Click here for The Autism Consortium.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes will be shared at Carver School Road Branch Library on Saturday, March 7, at 11 am. Librarians plan to stimulate the senses of sight, sound, and touch by using a flannelboard along with the book and singing parts of the story together. Families are welcome to stay awhile after storytime to meet new friends while children play with bubbles.

This March 7 Sensory Storytime will be held five miles from Walkertown at the Carver School Road Branch Library. Join the fun on Saturday, March 7, starting at 11am.

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