Poll of staff interested in offering this type programming
Started with Sensory Storytime (content for preschool level)
Flexibility and a positive attitude
Partnering with local community agencies and schools
Autism Society of NC
Mecklenburg County Chapter
Tours of private and public schools
What would an effective program look like to you?
What services would you like the public library to offer for parents/families of children with special needs?
What challenges do you face when you visit the library
What tips can you give us for interacting with you and your child?
Is there anything you would like to share with library staff about the challenges of having a child with special needs in your family?
What resources would you recommend that the library have that we currently don’t?
Who would you recommend as potential partners for the public library to have?
What would make the public library the first destination for your family to go to spend free time?
How often would you like to see special needs programs offered?
It there any additional information that you would like to share?
Comments from Parents/Caregivers on Surveys
Saturday is a really great day. Doctors and therapy appointments would prevent us from coming during the week.
This is a great idea! Kids can roam free and make noise without parents worrying they are bothering others.
Tip: It is helpful to talk to my child in short and concise sentences “keep it short and sweet”
Learning from parents about programming needs
What services are you looking for?
Books that appeal to siblings who have a brother or sister with special needs
Picture books that have stories about children with special needs
Programs where my child can make noise and doesn’t have to sit
Drop in programs that I don’t have to register for
What challenges do you face
Hide items for storytime so my child does not try and take them
Loud hour on the computers would be great
It would be helpful to have paper towels in the restrooms instead of the dryers since my child is sensitive to noise
Noise is always an issue for my family. It is helpful to have a program in the community room where we can be loud.
Anything you would like to share?
The library is one of the few places that we can come and meet as a group in public
Don’t have to worry about food since my child also has allergies and this is a big issue
Have pillows and stuffed animals
Connecting with Others that Offer Sensory Programming
Professors, Dr. Linda Lucas Walling, Distinguished Professor
Peers in other library systems
Tips on Offering Programs
Be “on your toes”
Be ready for anything and don’t expect things to go as planned
Might have to redirect children and program plans
Programming Ideas and Outlines
It’s OK if kids are at different levels.
Feel free to leave and come back if you need to during the program.
You are welcome to all of our programs – if you feel this is working well for you and your child, you may wish to consider our other weekly programming.
Please fill out a short survey you will find on the table.
We are open to all comments and suggestions.
Sensory Programming Kits
(Hand and stick puppets; flannels; scarves; bubbles; bean bags; books; program outlines; schedule cards; etc.)
Sensory Programming Kits
Schedule Board with Picture Cards
Family and Community Contact Distribution Lists
Have a sign in sheet during the storytime for parents to leave e-mail contacts
Attend an Autism Fair and get contacts
Booklists for the Library Collection
Special Needs Category
Goals and Outcomes
Outcomes are a way of explaining why you did what you did and can begin to answer questions such as “So what?” and “What benefits did the participants gain from the program?” Outcomes should focus on the participants.
What funders often ask
Changes in behavior and/or attitude
Outcomes tell a story that statistics alone cannot do; give meaning to a measure
Outcomes can be initial; intermediate; and long-term
Goals and Outcomes
Takes a while to build program
Not large attendance numbers but that is okay
Families feel more comfortable using the library
Parents feel relaxed; in a safe place; don’t have to worry; joy you see from parents; not judged; relaxed stories
Have items in your children’s area for parents to use stuffed animals; puppets
Linda Lucas Walling Collection, Materials for and/or about Children with Disabilities
National Association for Down Syndrome
Green sheet in your packet includes list of many helpful websites
ALSC Blog Series by Patricia Twarogowski “ Book the event room for an extra ½ hour for parents to socialize” “ Attend local chapter meetings of the Autism Society and the Down Syndrome Association” “ Double visuals” (book/puppet/flannel) Use as many visuals as possible
Music- sensitivity to music, low key music Allergies – no food Flexibility E-mail reminders Timing – Saturday mornings seem to work well Not as bright lighting Rug or carpet squares Pillows/stuffed animals
Programming for older children
More partnerships (SmartStart)
Charlotte Speech and Hearing spring series
Parks & Recreation
(where children/teens are)
Books; hands-on literacy activities/crafts
Group participation (hot potato)
Parents/caregivers in room as needed
Book Exploration for Teens
Book and CD
Activities related to scenes in book
Information from Community Panelists
Charlotte Beck, Teacher in Cabarrus Schools
Emily Neal & Rhian Vanderburg, Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center