Q & A
What is a Multisensory Story?
A multisensory story immerses the story explorer by telling a story using words and sensory stimuli (story props), connecting the individual to literature, topic and culture in a way that is fun, motivating and meaningful to their lives.
Who Are Multisensory Stories For?
Multisensory stories are aimed at individuals with special educational needs and learning disabilities from curious preschoolers to teenagers with complex needs.
The stories form an excellent base on which to scaffold learning, providing opportunities for the individual to work towards their personal learning goals and targets making them suitable for EYFS, Primary, EAL and Speech & Language students.
Are the Stories Only for Use in Educational Settings?
Absolutely not! The stories and poems are fully resourced, step by step guides, making them the perfect resource for Parents, Siblings, Guardians, Childminders, Speech Therapists, Play Therapists, Support Workers, Activity Coordinators, Storytellers, Librarians and anyone with an interest in exploring storytelling through the senses in a fun and engaging way!
Why Rhyming Multisensory Stories?
The combination of sensory stimuli, listening to the rhyme and rhythm and the repetitive structure of the stories, supports memory and aids learning, playing a crucial role in the development of early communication language skills; joint attention, eye-contact, turn-taking, anticipation and the learning of concepts.
What Are the Benefits of Multisensory Stories?
Storytelling builds a bond between the storyteller and the story explorer, enhancing well-being and enriching experiences.
Exposure to sensory stimuli allows the sensory explorer to engage with new experiences to calm and alert the sensory system in a safe, therapeutic environment and to use their senses to understand the world around them.
Can Multisensory Stories Build Communication Skills?
Sensory stories are an excellent motivating tool for encouraging alternative communication systems, early communication skills, Makaton, sign language and to facilitate PECS exchanges. The stories build the confidence of learners with speech impediments and communication difficulties as they have a physical (story) prop to support the words they are saying.
Can Multisensory Stories Inform on Needs & Care Plans
Observing reactions to a range of sensory stimuli enables you to build a picture of an individual’s sensory preferences. This record of likes, dislikes, motivators and triggers can help parents, carers and teaching staff make informed choices to enhance daily life in areas such as diet, sensory needs, daily activities and leisure activities and is an invaluable tool to inform on the behaviour strategies and the writing of care plans.
This bank of motivators can calm a person when anxious or stressed and will help identify any triggers. You may seek to avoid some triggers and to work on desensitising others that may be necessary e.g. teeth brushing, through repeated exposure to build tolerance. When used in a safe setting rhyming multi-sensory stories can be used to prepare the story explorer for visits out of their daily routine such as getting a haircut or the dentist.
How do I source my Story Props?
The stories and poems are fully resourced and with different options suggested for props.
The props are all low budget items that can be found around the home, garden or classroom.
You can also add your own props.
How Do I Tell A Multisensory Story?
The multisensory stories are written as easy to follow, step-by-step guides.
Slowly and clearly read each sentence introducing the story prop as the corresponding word appears.
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You do not have to complete the whole story in one sitting. You can explore one or two sentences adding to the story in future sessions, it may take several sessions to complete the story.
Allow processing time.
Repetition is the key! Repeat the same story for a minimum of twice a week for a month then change to a different story.
Be allergy aware! Like any other activity, ensure the activities are supervised by a responsible adult.
The interactions should be led by the story explorer who should be allowed to participate without expectation.
Never force stimuli and stop the activity if the story explorer shows signs that they are not enjoying the session.
Focus on having fun and it will become an educational experience!