An Introduction To Designing Sensory Storytimes At Your Library, School or Autism Center | Mr. Matt Mazur | Skillshare

An Introduction To Designing Sensory Storytimes At Your Library, School or Autism Center

Mr. Matt Mazur,

An Introduction To Designing Sensory Storytimes At Your Library, School or Autism Center

Mr. Matt Mazur,

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
22 Lessons (1h 1m)
    • 1. Overview for Sensory Storytime Strategies

    • 2. Why Are Sensory Storytimes Important?

    • 3. Practical Suggestions For A Sensory Storytime

    • 4. Fran Sussman’s Four S’s

    • 5. Goals For A Sensory Storytime

    • 6. How to Read Your Audience and Modulate Your Performance

    • 7. Praxis and Project 1 Develop a Song To Teach an Everyday Routine

    • 8. An In Depth Look At Praxis Motor Planning Sequencing

    • 9. Choosing Books For A Sensory Storytime

    • 10. Row Row Row Your Boat

    • 11. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    • 12. Scrak s Big Adventure

    • 13. What Is A Social Story

    • 14. Why Is Inclusion Important

    • 15. How To Write A Description For a Sensory Storytime and Project #2 Write Your Own Sensory Storyti

    • 16. Outreach and Marketing

    • 17. Questions To Ask Parents and Patrons Before And After A Sensory Storytime

    • 18. How To Use Technology In Your Program V3 083018

    • 19. What Is Self Regulation?

    • 20. What Is Affect Attunement?

    • 21. A Few Things To Remember

    • 22. Further Reading and Resources

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Are you interested in running your very own Sensory-Storytime at your hometown library, school or community center? Do you want to make public spaces more accessible and inclusive for children, teens and adults who have sensory challenges or an autism spectrum disorder? In this course you will learn a few introductory skillsets for running and organizing your very own sensory story time. Mr. Matt Mazur, your teacher, will teach you easy to understand, easy to execute basic concepts for including children in Sensory-Storytime program of your own creation. This 4-part course challenges parents, teachers, caregivers, librarians, teen or college volunteers and anyone who is interested in being creative, inclusive and who is willing to take action and create their very own sensory-storytime. Mr. Matt Mazur holds a graduate degree in Developmental Models of Autism Intervention from the Center For Autism And Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University. He also holds a Master's Degree and an Undergraduate Degree from New York Universities' Tisch School of the Arts. He has provided professional development to statewide library systems, several countywide library systems and to several daycare centers. He was selected as the Summer Reading Challenge Statewide Performer by the Office of the First Lady of Delaware. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mr. Matt Mazur


Presented by, Turtle Dance Music is a children's music company dedicated to furthering child development through arts-integration, music, and educational entertainment. We spark children's curiosity and imaginations through interactive, inclusive musical performances that use a wide range of instruments, comedy and music technology. Our 45-60 minute long sensory-friendly performances are geared for Pre-K, grades K-5 and students on the Autism Spectrum. Our performances are also accessible to parents, teachers and librarians who want to have a great time with their kids and laugh a lot! Turtle Dance Music believes that your kids are capable of doing extraordinary things. ​We Help Kids Come Out Of Their Shells! 

Our Mission: To further ea... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Overview for Sensory Storytime Strategies: Hi, My name is Mr Matt Maizar. I am a certified autism intervention in early childhood development. Specialist. I got my graduate degree from the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University, and I have an undergraduate degree from New York University, and I do sensory story times at libraries and cultural centres and community centers. I speak with a lot of librarians and a lot of programming directors and a lot of Children. Services directors who want to do more programs for Children with special needs. They for teens with special needs for Children and teens on the autism spectrum. And they want to do programs that are not just for kids with special needs, but for all kids. They want to make it inclusive for kids who have a developmental disability and for Children who don't have a developmental disability so they can understand more about what it is to have a developmental disability. So we had autism friendly shows dot com and turtle dance music. We help kids. Commander Shells created this amazing new online sensory storytime strategy lecture Siri's so you can have practical, useful and functional strategies for running a sensory storytime at your center or your library or in your Children's programming. So check out our videos. They're available on this platform are also available through our websites at autism friendly shows dot com and turtle Dance music. The other day I worked with a group of kids who had physical and cognitive disabilities, and one of the kids held my guitar after the show and another child. He was like missing part of his hand and he came up to me and I got to hang out with those kids and it was really this amazing experience to be able to provide a program. Or those kids were included and were treated just like any other kid. And if you want to learn how to do that, come check out this program. It's available to anyone and I want to be here, and I want to be a resource for you starting this journey for including more kids in your community. I hope you check it out and thank you very much. 2. Why Are Sensory Storytimes Important?: How do sensory story times help your audience members? The first thing I'll say is your sensory Storytime can absolutely be inclusive for kids with without autism, because not only are you helping the kids with autism get to go out into their community more and to feel comfortable and to be a part of their community and be included. You're also teaching typically developing kids and students neuro typical kids and students about what autism is and what it means to be having autism spectrum disorder and to have compassion for a person who has fizzy lots of physiological or cognitive challenges. Century story tons. Also helpful because it's an opportunity to practice communication, an opportunity for social emotional growth for self discovery. It's also an opportunity for students and Children to build relationships with other students and for parents to build relationships with one another. It's also great for fun toe learn through novel experiences and for creative exploration of different books and topics in the ideas 3. Practical Suggestions For A Sensory Storytime: here's, um, practical strategies for running a sensory storytime at your library or your center. The first thing I would recommend is that if you're reading a book or story, take photos of the pages and enlarge them. If you have a smart board or a projection screen or a TV, you can plug your phone or your computer into. You can have enlarged pictures of the books that you can operate while you tell the story. It definitely makes the story more engaging to have big visuals of the story. The second thing is to know your audience. Talk to the parents before and after the program and see if you can learn a little bit more about the Children who are coming to your program. What air their interest. What do they like to talk about? What are things that they like to engage with, and can you incorporate those things into your program? The third thing is have a sensory break corner. If Children or teens need to take a break from your program, that's totally cool. They should be ableto move in and out of the room, and it's totally fine. You could also have a sensory break corner in your room or outside of the space or in an area behind the stage. If you have a stage in your program room, and if you don't, maybe you could turn the office. Or you could turn one of the areas in the library into like a sensory safe space you could , but being back chairs in there bubbles. You can have headphones, noise canceling headphones. You could have stuffed animals make it into a friendly space. That way, Children can go back and forth between the program and it won't be a disturbance. And then you can keep the show or the sensory storytime going. The next thing I would recommend is that make sure you have backup activities. If there's things that are not working, that's totally fine. Cut out of that activity going to the next and make sure that there's not too much talking between the experiences in your sensory storytime. The last thing I'd recommend is that you can have bubbles and stuffed animals and strong visual aids from the sensory break area in your program, and if you feel comfortable enough, you can change your sensory storytime and incorporate these activities, you could have the audience sing somewhere over the rainbow or twinkle, twinkle, Little Star, ABC and you could blow bubbles for an audience member who's crying. You can make silly voices with a puppet or with a stuffed animal, and you could have a child who's crying or having a meltdown. Hold onto it. Just make sure that you keep the program going, and if you do a 30 20 or 30 minute program, that's totally fine. You know, it doesn't have to be an hour long or lower your expectations. The fact that the audience members air there, that's the most important thing is that people are coming and that the more times they come to the library, the more comfortable and confident they will be there. 4. Fran Sussman’s Four S’s: he Our Franz Usman's four s is the 1st 1 is say less. How can you use more concrete words and simplify stories to their basic plot points? You don't need to read the entire story, show the picture of the story and boil it down to the essential actions and ideas so the Children can follow along. If you talk too much and used too many words, something called Word Chungking happens where your voice begins to sound. Life from the peanuts one of the teachers want, want, want, want, want, want you need to use concrete words such as duck or rainbow or fish or running. How can you use words that are concrete and easy to understand and shortening stories and directions to to for three word ideas? The second s is stress important words by using inflection, Johnny ran to catch the bus or everybody stand up and you can use stress when you're You could stress certain words to help the kids understand the directions. As you're doing the program, go slow. You want to make sure that Children can follow the words that you're saying because sometimes Children with language delays need to really think about the words you're saying to process, and you can always take a pause. For instance, if you're saying hello, what's your name? And you can wait two or three seconds and a child might say Logan, or you could have the entire group help you. Or you can have the parents say, What's your name? Can you help us out in? The parent can help you say the child's name, and sometimes Children have delays, and they just need a little bit longer toe. Get their idea out. On the fourth thing is show the meaning of the words point to concrete images to make sure that Children know who is being referenced. So, for instance, if you're reading a book about rowing a boat row, row, row Your Boat by Jean Cabrera and row row, row your boat gently down the stream and there's a crocodile row row row you both through the narrow gap. If you see a crocodile and point to the picture off the crocodile in the story so the Children know who you're talking about, and then the crocodile snaps, snaps, snaps doubts now, so point to the picture of the character you're talking about so that the Children have an idea. That's a crocodile. Okay, so those Air France Sussman's for us is. 5. Goals For A Sensory Storytime : One thing you want to do is you want to manage your expectations for how the program should go. Here are a few strategies that you can include in for improved participation and praise attempts. Even if a child does not succeed at something, try saying things like Great work or all. You're doing such a great job all you always got it. Let's say a child has trouble talking and has or a motor challenges. You could have some oak and somebody helped them out. Can somebody Oh, like you? The parent tells you the child's name. Hi, What's your name? And the child doesn't respond. He gets asked a parent. Oh, what? What is your name? I would love to know it. The parents is the name, and you can ask the parent and you could ask somebody to to help you out. Treat the child is if they did just say the name, you know, just like make them feel included. Break directions down into smaller steps. If a child does not understand something, you could make it simpler. Make it two or three were things like stand up, everybody jump, jump, jump! Using repetition is your best friend. Repetition is very helpful, and you can also physically model things. So if your telling hits the jump, everybody stand up. I want stand too much because you're gonna lose me and then and everybody jump, jump jelly. Sometimes my legs are very tired. So I bounce up and down instead of actually jumping. That's Ah, that's a really great life hack right there, and the kids will get to jump that they'll get the idea to jump with you again. You can model it. You can demonstrate it with your body, which is very helpful. Demonstrated visually, you could include it as a slide behind you and say, We're gonna jump And there's a picture of a person jumping behind you with the words jump written at the top or you can do it verbally. Everybody jump, jump, jump Everybody clap, clap You can ask apparent to help their child out. So let's say you're like, Oh, can you turn the page of the book? The child's like hesitating, you could say, Oh, maybe maybe Mom or Dad or your caregiver could help you. Oh, right, Very cool. And they do a thing called hand over hand so the parent or the caregiver or the grand parent or whoever's at the program. The child can help the child pinch the pain, judge and turn the page. It's called hand over Hand or like to strum a guitar and lately strum the guitar. You can also help with that as well. And it's OK to take a sensory break if something is overwhelming or something is tactile and like the child doesn't like how how it is. Sometimes I have a didgeridoo in my performances, and kids are very scared of the didgeridoo, so I let the kids before playing it. I let the kids feel it. I try it, and I let them touch as appeal. Bumpier, smooth trying to a funny joke to ease the kids. Like also through the middle of the didgeridoo. You can absolutely limit the enrollment to 8 to 10 Children, and this is something you can do just starting out. You could have sign ups. If you don't want to have sign ups, you know I would definitely try and make it not too many people, so you can get a handle of like balancing kids who have autism and kids who have sensory needs and the kids who might need a little extra time to understand what they're going through. I can perform for bigger audiences now that I understand how it works and how to manage it . And I have people who sometimes help me out. But starting out you can absolutely have the program limited to 8 to 10 Children, or you could do a bigger audience. Whatever you feel comfortable doing, the parents should absolutely be in attendance if there are Children at the program for teens. That is a case by case situation, and you can make that decision based on the developmental ability or the the behavioral needs of of the teen attending the programme. The final thing, I would say is that if anything is overwhelming, you could say in the beginning of the show this is a safe space. Anybody who needs to take a sensory break absolutely take a break in our sensory quarter or can step outside the room and come back in and you won't miss anything. This program is a judgment free and it's safe and we're here to support each other, so that's something you definitely want to try and say at the beginning of the program, so everybody knows that even if a child is having a meltdown, parents understand a little bit better what's going on. 6. How to Read Your Audience and Modulate Your Performance : how to tell if Children are engaging with your program. There are a few things you're gonna want to look for when you have Children or teens in your program. One thing you're gonna want to look for is while you're doing the program. If things air too loud, the Children are gonna hold their hands up to their ears. This might mean that a child has auditory sensitivity. That might mean that things were too loud. Things are overwhelming and the child might do something that's called stemming. MM. Are my to him flapping? Or might to another thing called Kolya? Kolia is saying a set of phrases over and over again from, say, a popular TV show or saying something over and over again to infinity m beyond to infinity m beyond. They might quote something from Sesame Street or did Thomas the train. Or they might quote something from Pixar Toy Story movie or something like that, or from the Wiggles or from of riot of sources that try might be engaging with. So if you see a child having auditory sensitivity issues, you can lower your volume and lower your affect, and you can still keep the audience engaged with your voice. But you might not want to be Aziz loud and is booming because it might be hurting for the chance fears. And you want to use your inner affect, calm the room down while keeping the engagement of the kids in the room, and then when the child takes their hands down from their ears, then you can raise your voice back to a normal level. But that's what's happening if the child puts their hands up to their ears. So look out for that while you're doing a program. So that is an auditory sensitivity. Another thing. If Children are really engaging with you, they're going to be rapt with attention or they'll be moving and following your directions . However, if Children are sitting watching you and they're wiggling in your seat, wiggling is a sign that the Children are not engaging with an activity. They're moving around a lot, so if you see something like that happen, you might want to move on to another activity, quietly wrap up this activity and be like, OK, we're gonna finish that story, and we're actually gonna move on to this special bubbles or this special instrument or this special activity that we have planned for you over here. So those are two things I would look out for when I'm reading the audience. 7. Praxis and Project 1 Develop a Song To Teach an Everyday Routine: Sometimes kids with autism have trouble with two things they have trouble with. Praxis Praxis is following thinking of a step by step process for how to do something. For instance, how do you put on your shoes? Well, first you have to open the shoe, and then you have to put your foot in the shoe. Then you pull the laces, you tie the laces together, and then you make a bunny ears. I like to the bunny ears. You tie those together. That's one issue that Children in teens and adults with autism run into is how do you follow step by step, or how do you plan to do an action? Another thing that Children teens have trouble with is identifying different parts. The body identifying pains if they're feeling sick or identifying that they have to go to the bathroom so you can literally create a song or a little sketch about going to the bathroom. And you could take a song like Twinkle, twinkle Little Star or Old MacDonald and you could create like a funny song. Here's something I'm thinking of right now. In the moment old MacDonald went to the bathroom. Yeah, me I, uh He felt some pain e a e i o. So he walked down over to the bathroom, opened up the handle and then he went into the bathroom. E i e i Oh, by the way, it's not that uncommon to have to talk about something like that because that is a really issue that a child or teen would run into, and at what his way that you could present it so that it would be appropriate. And so, like a book like everybody Poops that explains something that everybody has to do in present it in a funny way that you know, is really functional. Helpful. So take a popular song, ABC. Twinkle, Twinkle Little star Old MacDonald had a farm, The wheels on the bus You could take any song. Take something like brushing your teeth or tying your shoes. You washing your hands in the restroom? How? Toe open and close a refrigerator. How toe. Ask the librarian for a book to check out, Take something like that and turn it into a five step song. So, for instance, tying your shoe let's do row, row your boat tying your shoe. I'm gonna put on my shoes. Here's how I do it. Here's how I do with first I take the shoot. I take the shoe and I open it up. I open it up. Then I put my foot in the shoe. I put my foot in the shoe. Then I pulled the laces. Pull the laces, pull the laces so they fit well. Then I tied the laces, tie the laces up. I tie the laces, anti them tight. Finally I walk away. I walk away or I put on another shoe. I do the same for the other foot. Something like that. It doesn't have to be the greatest thing you've ever written. Take two minutes no more than two minutes and just write out a five step process and write out a song. Row, row, row your boat, ABC or McDonald. Any popular Children's tune and you have a functional song that you can use in your story time. Go check it out. Go try it out. This is a project and give it a go. Thank you 8. An In Depth Look At Praxis Motor Planning Sequencing: here is a more in depth description of what Praxis and motor planning our and sequencing Praxis is the ability to plan in sequence unfamiliar actions. Practice includes one ideation. The ability to formulate a goal for an action. E g. How do I play with this toy, or how do I get my arm? Who? Assurance. Leave Number two. Motor Planning. How to get one's body to carry out a goal for an action. An internal sensory awareness of body parts, how they fit together and how they move through space. Number three. Execution. Performing a planned action using fine and gross motor coordination. Number four assessment. Did my plan work? Was I able to execute my idea, like getting my arm through the sleeve or brushing my teeth or reading a book and number five repair? What changes did I make if I wasn't able to execute my plan successfully? How doe I do it again with refinement. Oh, I wasn't able toe Get this key into the lock. Let me try another key. What are ways that you can repair in action if it doesn't work? So that is a more in depth description of what motor planning and sequencing are 9. Choosing Books For A Sensory Storytime : choosing books for sensory story times. You are a few things to consider when choosing a book for sensory storytime. One thing you want to look at is the interaction between the picture and the illustration and the text. What is the interaction? Is there too much text? Are the pictures clear? Can the pictures be seen from far away? That's something that you want to think about. The quality of the writing and the illustrations are obviously something you want to choose . A really fun book, a good book that you like. If you're having fun and you enjoy the book, the audience is also going to enjoy the book. Is it an appropriate amount of text? And is the book developmentally appropriate for where the audience is at? And you could have a couple of backup, but let's say you want to do something for Children who are aged three and four and Onley two year old. Show up or infants show up, or you can have a backup or older. Colder Children show up like 789 10 and the books might be too babyish. So how can you have a backup book ready for that? group of kids. The appeal of the title is definitely something you want to consider. And does the book take into account communication and social challenges? That would be good things for the Children to learn. One great book that's out there talks about a child, has meltdowns and has tantrums, and that might be a great book to read during a story time. If there's a child who struggles with that, avoid slang, idiomatic language and nonsense words. You know the cat in the hat is great, and it's wonderful. But, you know, you should really try and find books that have concrete words. I love something like Eric Carle because it's like there's an apple and there's pears and there's plums and they're so concrete. It would be very easy for the child to understand. Use realistic illustrations or photographs. Also, there's nothing wrong with using books that involve characters from movies or television. Siri's that the kids love. For instance, if a child in your audience loves Pa Patrol or Maiziere, curious George or Disney characters, Pixar characters or Sesame Street characters if you want to use an Elmo book or if you want to use ah Thomas the train book in your story time. That's totally fine, too. Because if that's something the child is interested in, you can read that book and that will build trust with the child. And then you can start to maybe try and incorporate a new book that the child might not be familiar with. And you might have more success reading that new book if you first read something that the child already knows so below. I'm gonna incorporate a list of books. Uh, there was gonna be a link that you can click somewhere or there's gonna be something. Pdf, probably that will be included with this. With that, we'll have a list of hundreds of books that you could potentially use in your sensory storytime. 10. Row Row Row Your Boat: So now what I want to do is show you what a story within a sensory storytime would look like. And what you can do is take a story. For example, I'm going to use Jane Cabrera's Row, Row, Row Your Boat, which is already a song, and you could take a story that is able to be turned into a song. You could use an instrument you play along with the story on. You don't have to read all the words and the book. You can shorten it down to ah couple of words or to a major plot point. This is Row, row, row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera. Row, row, row your boat Gently down the stream Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily Life is but a dream Can everybody roll with me Just like this? Row Row your boat Gently down the stream Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily like this Gonna dream row, row, row Your boat Splish splash in spider He if you see a monkey everybody chatter Go Yeah, like a monkey row, row Row your boat through the narrow gap If you see a crocodile Everybody stop Snap, snap, snap You try. It's no row row row your boat. Watch the tiger proud If you see his mighty claws, show them off and ground never and go Roar road roar, roar or roar Row, row, row Your boat beneath the sky So blue If you see a singing duff everybody flap your wings and coo Cool Who row, row? Row your boat Now it's getting dark If you see Mommy Dog, wave your arms and bark. Go far, Far, far, far, far, far, far, Far Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream We're really we're really we really were Lee. Everybody go to sleep and dream. 00 row, row, row your boat Now it's the next day. If everybody wake up, it's time to go and play. Let me see you row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily Life is but a dream, and as you're doing the story, you can point to different characters, like if you're talking about the crocodile row row, row your boat through the narrow gap. If you see a crocodile and you could point to the crocodile and this way you're identifying new words that the kids could incorporate into the vocabulary go Give that a try. If you want to take a basic book and adapted into a song or take the major story and just summon up in like a couple of words in a sentence and then incorporate an action to go along with the story, pick a book and give it a try. Highly recommend Jane Cabrera. She has a lot of phenomenal zones that she adapted into books. Bob Marley is another interesting example of someone who's songs were adapted into books who go give it a try. 11. The Very Hungry Caterpillar: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric R. O Performed by turtle Dance Music in the line of the moon laying egg Gonna leave Everybody go to sleep inside your eggs Theme Next morning Sun rose and the egg went Can everybody say good? Son said her Luke cut a pillar on the caterpillar. Said the caterpillar was hungry on Monday. It ate one apple, huh? But it was still hungry on Tuesday. It ate two pairs, but it was still hungry on Wednesday at 83 plums. But it was still hungry on Thursday at 84 Strawberries. Huh? Huh? Huh? But it was still hungry on Friday. It a five oranges, huh? But it was still hungry on Saturday. It ate chocolate cake. Ice cream, huh? Pickles, huh? Cheese, huh? Salami, huh? Lollipops. Cherry pie cupcakes, huh? And one slice of watermelon, huh? My can everybody hold their belly and say my knee hurts? Caterpillar ate too much food, so it had a belly ache. So on Sunday, the caterpillar ate a green leafy salad hump. Now it wasn't a tiny caterpillar. It was joy. Gun ditch, Enormous, humongous. So wrapped itself up. Chris Eliska yourself up in a chrysalis. Wrap yourself from going to turn into a butter wrap yourself. The caterpillar went to sleep. Can you all do this for two weeks off? Sh And as it slept inside, the chrysalis trumped about rain bows and blue skies. And I woke up it shoud Huh? Huh Huh pushed me and it flapped its wings. It was a butterfly and everybody flap your wings. I like I want, like a flappy wings really fast de And that is another example of a story that you could use in a sensory storytime. How you can adapt a typical picture book into a song. So take a book like an Air Carl book and try to adapt it and turn it into a song. 12. Scrak s Big Adventure: This is a book I wrote with my older brother in law, Tim and Tim has anoxia spectrum, just order, and Tim has trouble socializing with other people. And as a kid growing up in the eighties and the nineties, he was bullied a lot on. We decided to take a story from his life and explore what it was like for him. Toe be bullied and for him to feel different. And we turned it into a book called Scraps Big Adventure. And he illustrated all of these drawings and pictures. So this is maybe something you could do with, um, middle school or teen or adult. You know, patrons who have autism. How could you create original book with them? Or how could you create original story with them? Here we go. One day, Tim walked outside with his pet parrots. Crack and scratch decided to go on an adventure. Flap your wings, flap your wings. Five year wings, find your wings. Flap your wings spot doing for going on adventure scraps. Big adventure written by Mr Matt on his brother Tim Your wings can everybody up down golf gonna be galloping on a horse Galloping galloping Got a name, Name, name, name. Everybody move side sign, son side to sign, side to sign. Ride on a turtle side to side That's crack wins lunch But you didn't know who she could sit with She felt so different from the other birds That bird is so weird That scrap got really upset Everybody shouts scrapped three times and all the other birds for like that birds Weird. Let's get out of here to scratch. How do you eat lunch all by herself? Would say, Oh, no. She was excluded In the woods came a 5 to 3. I'm gonna knock that bird off the bird feeder and the fox jumped. But it miss scrap Quick flapper wings flap their wings. Spot doing spot waiting spider, bite, bite, bite Get away from the box from the holy Fox Scratch hidden side of a tree Can everybody say who? Crack was scared. She was disoriented. She didn't know where she waas The next day she flaps her wings doing she's going to find her family Everybody shout Which is what Tim's neighbor said when a random parrot landed on his shoulder and his daughters took scrapped the vet they saw sign missing. Please help. They called the number, and Tim's mom ran over. Run, run, run, run, run! Let's go and get strapped! Run as fast as you can. You go run! Run! Just like Jim's mom. And she took scratch back to Tim, and she gave scrapped a Tim and Tim gave us crack a big hug and a kiss. Can you pretend to give scratch a big hug and say, I'll never let you go again? I'll never let you go again And Tim told that to his bird, scratched into his family every day for the rest of his life. The end. So that was a really cool project that I worked on with my older brother in law, who's almost 40 and even a 40 years old. He's still learning about how what the rules are for socializing with other people, and he's learning all those nuances. And this was a really great project to talk about some of those things that he has challenges with and and also to incorporate something he's interested in to follow his lead because he's very interested in his parents crack. So we decided to write a whole book about that topic. He's also interested in video games and World War Two history, and tanks and planes and ships and also outer space and dinosaurs were going to write a couple of book based on those ideas as well. So if you have patrons who are adults who have autism or teens with autism, how can you follow their lead in their interest and maybe generate a book or a series of songs, or some films or some videos that they can shoot at the library and then put them out there into the world? If you want to set up a project like that, or karaoke is great, too, you can have YouTube has tons of free karaoke content, and you just set up the microphone. You need the microphone and set up a speaker, and then you could run your own karaoke e story time meet and greet, you know, event at your library. And that's another thing that's very successful. Singing Journey's don't stop Believing is like the greatest thing after everybody just jumps in. So go try out one of those things at your library 13. What Is A Social Story: What is a social story? A social story was created by Carol Gray, who was a teacher who worked with students with development of disabilities. And she created a social story, which is basically an outline of what is going to happen during the program so you can create a social story for what it's like to come to the library so you could make a little book where you can make a little video. And there's a few examples of below the video off what this would look like, where you can take several shots of walking into the library and you take a picture of the library and you take a picture of the person at the information desk of the front of library. You could take a picture off the Children's library and or the teen library, and you could take pictures of Children taking out books or walking into the program room and then take a couple photos of what will happen in the program. First, we're going toe, read a story, then we're going to sing a song. Then we're going to do a sensory activity with big bubbles. You can incorporate what you're gonna use near program. And then finally, I would take a picture off. If you have any questions, you can ask your librarian and a picture of the librarians who the Children of the teens can talk. Teoh. And that would be it. You could also take picture system to show what is gonna happen during the performance or the program or during the sensory storytime. You could put this in your story time and you could have numbers. 12345678 However many activities you're gonna have and you could say we're gonna do the hello and it could be a picture. Somebody leaving. And then there's a picture of small activity involving, you know, a song. You know, someone could be singing, copping their hands, and then third activity could be freeze dance. You know the kids. It's a picture of kids jumping up and down. The fourth activity is the reading of a story, and there's a big picture of the story projected in the background or an enlarged version of this story. I mean, if you wanted to, you could absolutely take, you know, print out bigger photos of the story. But I just think it's easy toe, take a photo and then put it up on a big projection or put it up onto a smart board. And then the last photo can be, you know, a goodbye song or could be pictures of you blowing bubbles. And that way, the Children of the teens in your program. No, what's going to happen? And they have a visual support system to help them through the story time. So that is something you can create either a social story or a picture system to go along with your program. 14. Why Is Inclusion Important: inclusion is a very important part of doing sensory story times. A lot of people will say, Well, we want to host a sensory storytime, but we don't want to do something that's just for kids with autism. And one thing is that you probably shouldn't do something that's just for kids with autism , because kids with autism are just like any other kid. And how can you create a program that includes kids with and without autism in the spate? Same space? How can you create a program that's flexible enough so that kids with autism can be treated like there any other kid, which they are? They just need special modifications to the program so that they don't feel so overwhelmed when they're at the program, or so that other people can understand what they're going through. How can you, in your program, communicate what a child with autism is going through? And there's a lot of phenomenal examples of people with autism who have conquered or overcome a lot of difficulties and challenges that are great examples. Carly Fleischmann is a phenomenal example of somebody who has autism, and now she and Struble policy, and she has or motor challenges where she's not able to talk. But she learned type through her iPad, and she always wanted to be a talk show host. So now she has a show on YouTube, where she interviews celebrities. She is one example of somebody who is an autism and a disability advocate who just wants to be treated like anybody else. Another person you could talk about. His Temple Grandin Temple Grandin has written several books. She was diagnosed with autism, and she went on to write several books, and now she is a college professor of the University of Colorado, and she has designed farming equipment that's using the throughout the United States. So how can you talk about some of these examples and incorporate them into programs to talk about why inclusion is important? Why is so important to include people with and without autism in the same program? So that is some food for thought 15. How To Write A Description For a Sensory Storytime and Project #2 Write Your Own Sensory Storyti: how to write a description for your sensory storytime. So here is a way that you can write a description here to descriptions that other libraries have used to promote their sensory storytime. Here's the 1st 1 This award winning Siris of story times engages all the senses through music, movement stories and play. Children will interact with train, teen and adult volunteers in a multi sensory environment. This story time is designed for Children with autism, sensory processing disorder or difficulties simply sitting still. But the program is inclusion friendly. So that's the first example. Here's the 2nd 1 This story time is open toe all Children and especially geared to Children with sensory integration challenges. If your child has difficulty sitting through one of the other story times, this program of stories, songs and activities may be just what you were looking for. So this project is write a paragraph that describes what the story time is, who it's for incorporate what to expect when they come to the story time. It could be 3 to 4 sentences long. Try writing that description for your program and let's see what you come up with, right? A description for your sensory storytime and what how you would like it to feel 16. Outreach and Marketing: What do you do about outreach? Ah, lot of librarians and a lot of teachers and parents say we want to get more Children in tow , our programs on what are things that you could do to improve your outreach. The first thing you could do is do a special visit to the special needs program at your local school, do a guest visit and do ah, story time at the school. And that would also be great because you can talk to the teacher is you could meet some of the students, and if you go there, it starts to introduce the students to who you are as the librarian or as the person who is running the program in your town. The library newsletter might not be the best outlet with the best channel for reaching out . You could absolutely send out a flyer to the local schools with picture of your sensory storytime and say, Hey, are library is hosting a sensory storytime Thursday at 6 p.m. Come check it out. That might be an awesome way to reach some of the families in your town. Social service agencies, hair and support Group Beach, an occupational therapist and private practice might be able to promote the program. If you have any of these parents who come to your regular story time, you could say, Hey, we're also putting together sensory storytime and you could potentially collaborate or they could be like This is great. We'll bring this back to our school into our students we work with That could also be a great partnership to form email. Blast are a good way to reach people. If your library has an email blast, you can put on update about the sensory storytime in the email blast reaching out to a local website. For families of Children family who have Children with disabilities. It's another great place to look at, and something to think about is the timing of the program. If you have your program, say I 10 a.m. on a Saturday, the Children might be going to a therapist or might be going toe like a physical therapist or might be going to, ah, service that they go to where they get help with some of their physiological or cognitive challenges. That might not be the best time, So talk to parents and local teachers and try and get a sense of when the best time to host a program. Maybe it's Thursday evenings. Maybe it's Wednesday evenings. Maybe it is Saturday or Sunday mornings, but try and talk to parents before you schedule a time. Another great thing to do is to schedule programs for teens and adults. That's also a huge population that definitely needs more programming. You could do a Best Buddies program for teens. Teenagers who don't have autism for you're a typical are typically developing. They come in and help run a program where you have games or you have local performers. Or if you were running a program, they could participate. You could do karaoke E. On kids can help each other sing, and that could be a really fun program. Another great place to reach out to is chapters of the Autism Society of America. Local SEPTA programs again reaching out to school special education departments. And the final thing is, if you can potentially partner with local art museums or local cultural organizations or programs, that might be another great way to get people into your program. So check out a few of those Resource is and will include a few more in the notes below. Thank you 17. Questions To Ask Parents and Patrons Before And After A Sensory Storytime : Here's some questions you can ask parents before after they attend your sensory storytime. And this is so you can get a better idea of the audience of Children who you're working with and how you can alter or adjust your program to meet their name needs. The first thing you could ask is what type of program or what type of early intervention program does the child attend? They go to a preschool and elementary school. Do they receive special services? Do they have any challenges with communication that you should know about? Another thing you can ask is, How does he or she behave when they're feeling stressed or anxious? Does your child have meltdowns? How do you respond to meltdowns? How do you deal with meltdown? The parent knows the most about the child, and you need to learn about the child through the parents. The third thing you should ask is, is there anything that he or she dislikes or avoids? If there's something that makes the child get upset, for instance, sometimes all sing the song wheels on the bus, and I had one student who I worked with who didn't like the teacher on the bus goes. She didn't like the it made her feel upset. So I changed. I took that out of the song and I would go right to the next part, which is the teacher or the parents say, I love you, I love you and I wouldn't do the sh. And that actually helped the student feel a lot calmer when I would do that song and then maybe later in the road. You can incorporate this back into the song, but when you're starting out in developing a relationship with the child, maybe that's something you would want to cut out of the sensory storytime. Just for the beginning. When were the last questions I would ask is, Does your child have a special interest? Is there something that I or we could incorporate into our sensory storytime program that your child is interested in and listen to the parent and see if there's any TV shows or books or toys or topics that the child is interested in? And maybe you could incorporate those ideas into the story time, so those are a few questions you can ask a parent before or after your sensory storytime program 18. How To Use Technology In Your Program V3 083018: it is not necessary to use technology in your programs. However, you can absolutely use technology if you use it in a responsible and safe way. There is an interesting study by Dr Patricia Cool K U H how she found that babies American babies who are taught Mandarin at a very young age were able to successfully learn some of the language elements of Mandarin by learning from a real person. However, babies who were taught the same lessons through a video were not able to pick up any of the language nuances and were not able to understand the language as well as the babies who learned from real people. So that is something to think about. However, if you do want to use interesting APs that air slow and they're not overwhelming or not dis regulating, that could be something interesting to use. If you want to blow up big pictures of the book, I highly recommend doing that. I notice a lot of libraries have projectors, and sometimes those tend to get underutilized, and they're a phenomenal tool that I would highly recommend. And all you need is a clicker. You have a clicker or there's a foot clicker that you can get, and you could use a clicker in a laptop to go through the slides. And you could use something simple. A presentation platform to present the book. You could use something like a power point, or that you could use the presentation platform for Apple. There's several different ones that will include in the separate pdf that you could use if you decide to use technology. Fine. Just make sure that you're using it in a mindful way and make sure to have a lot of movement because one of the other problems of technology is sitting still and not really using your gross motor. Using your body and that's really good for your brain is to move around a lot and use your body, so that is something to think about. And if you do want to learn about music APS and APS that we think are really interesting, there's a separate YouTube page for turtle dance music that you can check out where we have one minute demonstrations of all the APS that we use in our since restoring times and programs so you can check that out on YouTube on the Turtle Dance music page and subscribe to that page 19. What Is Self Regulation?: I want to talk about self regulation, which is an idea that was written about extensively by Dr Stuart Shanker, who has so many phenomenal books about this topic and self regulation is the ability to attain, maintain and change one's level of energy to match the demands of a tasker situation. It's the ability to go from Jim to math class to slow down from the high energy of gym class, to be able to focus a math class or to be able to go from, say, math class, where you're focused and you're sitting and you're learning to gym class, where you revved up in your engines moving real fast. And it's the ability to transition between these two activities. And it's the ability to monitor, evaluate and modify one's emotions based on the situation that they're in when a child is feeling dis regulated, this is when a child has a meltdown when they're not able to match the energy of the situation. It's an impairment or an interruption of the regulatory system that interferes with the child's ability, ability to regulate him, yourself, him or herself in a domain. So you want to use your affect attunement to be able to either down regulate, which is to be able to calm down. Ah, very hyperactive child who's jumping all around. You want to be ableto down, regulate and bring down the energy. Or if a child is feeling sleepy or tired or is not really participating a lot? This having trouble engaging with the program, you might want to up regulate and have the kids stand up, jump and do some gross motor activities where you're moving your body, Maybe do a march around the room. Maybe you do some bubbles and you bring the energy up in the room. Those air two things to think about is how can you down regulate the room if things were to hyperactive? Or how can you up regulate the room if things are a little hypoactive and they need a little more energy to get the kids engaged, Children who are optimally self regulated will be able to help regulate and co regulate with others, have compassion and care about other's feelings and help other people deal with their emotions and the ability to put the needs and interests of others ahead of their own and emotional regulation. is a very important part of helping a child engage with your program. And I would definitely recommend checking out Stewart Shankar's calm, alert and learning. It's a phenomenal book to help you understand what a child what a person is going through when they're going through fight flight frieze were faint. 20. What Is Affect Attunement?: something that's very important when you're interacting with a child or teen who has autism and they're having a meltdown. Is understanding affect attunement, which was an idea created by Dr Daniel End Stern? What affect attunement is the inner emotional state that someone is experiencing, and what you need to do when you're presenting your program is you need to have a calm fun in her emotional state and you need toe Listen with your heart, and you need to be open to the Children who are in your audience. Being present is a very important thing to running a successful sensory storytime. Now, if a child is crying and screaming during your program and you're upset and you're freaked out and you're like Oh my goodness, what do I do? The child is going to continue being upset. Here's a great example. A child falls down and hurts themselves and they look about you. And what's the first thing that you do? You go. Oh, my goodness is your heard your injured? The child is probably going to start crying, but if the child falls and you know it's not serious of an injury and looks up at you and you go. Oh, hey, buddy. All right, let's get back up and let's keep dancing around and the child will walk it off generally and will continue experiencing the program. And it's very important that your interstate is what is communicating to the child. And if a child's crying, you bring a nice, calm energy and you sing Twingo Wing a little star. How I wonder what Teoh are. That's absolutely gonna help a child calm down a lot more than I feel. OK, all right, you know, it's so you know that's actually going to get child more wrapped up. But if you have a calm inner affect and you help the child, calm down with your inner emotional state, that is going to be a huge tool that you can use during the program. 21. A Few Things To Remember: remember Children and teens with special needs, our Children and teens first and foremost, treat them like you would treat anybody else, treat them like you would treat any of your typically or no typically developing audience members. Lower your expectations. Not everything will work at your program. Ah, meltdown might happen. Thes Things happen because you are new to the child's routine or to the teens routine, and that's totally okay, so lower your expectations. It will take time to develop trust, trial and error or super important, and going to the library can be an overwhelming experience. But the more times that the child or the teen or the adult goes to the library, the more they will feel comfortable going there. The library needs to be a safe and welcoming space. It is a haven for new ideas and self realization. People go to the library because they want to learn something or they want to find community. They don't just go there for the books. The library is a thing of the past. We need to turn libraries into safe, collaborative spaces where people can interact with their community and with ideas. As Carl Sagan says, libraries are a collective space for memory. There, the community's nucleus to all of the ideas that shared ideas live in that space, and it's so important, and everyone should have access to that space. If you have any questions, you could send me an email at info at turtle dance music dot com. Thank you. 22. Further Reading and Resources: Here are a list of references that you could take a look at. I would check out the work on YouTube of company in England called Oily Cart O I l Y C a R T. They create phenomenal multisensory performance experiences for Children with developmental disabilities. I would look at Lincoln Center, which just recently did a program with the New York City Ballet, and they started a ballet program for Children with physical challenges and development disabilities. The new Victory Theater and many Broadway theaters offer autism friendly performances and sensory friendly performances. I would also look at Carly Fleischmann's where Carly Fleischmann now has a show on YouTube , where she interviews celebrities through talking through her iPad So I would check out her book in her autobiography would also check out Temple Grandin's work. Temple Grandin has phenomenal books about what it's like to be inside the mind and body of a person with disability with a developmental disability. I would look at the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning Disorders, the I C D L. You can find them at www dot i CDL dot com. I would check out the work of Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder have this amazing book called Engaging Autism that came out in 2006. Check out Stewart Shankar's book, Calm, Alert and Learning, which is from 2013 and I would check out a website called 0 to 3 z r o T o th r ee dot com 0 to 3. They have phenomenal Resource is journal articles about early childhood development, and they have articles about autism so you can learn more about what autism it is. So those are a few of our references. Check those out.