Open Door Special Needs Storytime Posters, Pages , Flyers on display
Christine: Population, schools and enrollment found on loudoun.gov page
Heather: According to Autism Speaks: Autism Spectrum Disorder is estimated to affect more than 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. 1 in 88 American children ASD By comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined. prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years 11% of all special education students in LCPS are identified on the autism spectrum. (10% of all LCPS students are identified as “special education” *District profile* The Child Find Center screens children between the ages of 2 – 5 for developmental progress
Heather: Characteristics Difficulty expressing needs verbally Laughing or crying for no apparent reason Difficulty interacting with others Little or no eye contact Unresponsive Obsessive attachment to objects Sensory integration problems lead to over or under -activity
Heather: Like regular storytimes, sensory storytimes incorporate books, songs, and movement activities. But they also combine these activities with therapeutic activities from Sensory Integration Theory, developed by Dr. A. Jean Ayres for children w/learning disabilities, later applied to children w/ASD Sensory Integration and the Child, first published in 1979, latest edition 2005
Sensory activities may include: Touch = Light touch of various textures; deep pressure w/weighted blankets “snakes”; playdough; painting; props Auditory = Big Mack Switch; music; instruments Visual = Flannel board; books; props No taste! Allergies! Smell = I avoid any scent, indirectly through Playdough; painting Internal: Therabands; pushing Educubes; crawling through tunnel; balls; balance beam; yoga; dance; movement games w/props
Heather: Open Door emphasizes families and parent participation: One-to-one, sometimes two-to-one Models activities for parents/caregivers Parents assist librarians and parents assist one another Also, helps prepare families for participation in other library programs & library visits Increases comfort level of families while in library
Christine: Goal is to make children and parents feel comfortable and safe. Success = greater participation NOT mastery Welcome & accept as they are – many parents are used to apologizing for their children & trying in vain to control their behaviors so that they will “fit in.” We welcome them, accept behaviors = parents & children feeling relaxed and accepted in the library setting
Christine: talking; singing; reading; writing; and playing Touch; visual; auditory; motor during structured storytime and during social time Social/ play time allows for interactions & support from participants Promote library cards; materials; & programs
Initial funding for basic materials: Big Mack Switch; weighted snakes; sensory balance beam; unbreakable mirrors; Boardmaker software; bubble blower; & triangular crayons. Heather: Linda Holtslander, Division Manager of Programming, applied for the 100 Women Strong grant. 100 Women Strong is group of women who make an annual $10,000 donation to the group that then uses the funds to provide grants to support organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. The grant allowed us to really “beef up” materials: more lengths of balance beam; painting easel; paints; aprons; toy cabinet; sensory toys; Therabands; BIG books w/manipulatives; Educubes
Christine: Registered programs through Engaged Patrons, online registration. Begins two weeks prior to program date, limit 10 - 12 families with a wait list of 5
Heather: Special Needs Committee – initiated development process Information Gathering: LCPS Special Education Adaptive Technology – adapted books workshop Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Tricia presented workshop Team of 4 Librarians worked to develop 12 kits based upon theme
Heather: *Handouts & posted on VLA Conference website Bibliography - The Out of Sync Child Has Fun (book) Resource List – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Online Learning Archive Autism Speaks; LCPS Child Find; LC PRCSR; Parent Network Group for the Arc of Loudoun; LCPS Special Ed Advisory Committee; Autism Speaks
Christine: We are not “teachers” or “therapists” – we do not have a specific curriculum! Supplement Enrich Extend Complement Facilitate Support Positive Life-enhancing
Christine: Always … create an environment that is positive, supportive, and encouraging through activity and interaction Remember primary focus is on the children in the room not the just the content. - I liked a comment Tricia said : “embrace chaos”. That takes practice for some people, but is so worth it when you are enjoying yourself along with the kids and families.
Heather & Christine (demo) Some things are the same as a regular stoytime. Open Door has elements that are unique and are repeated every storytime.
Heather: Samples from Boardmaker software, elements of a typical Open Door Storyime
Heather: Posted signs, preview at beginning of storytime. As completed, remove and place in “Done” envelope.
Heather & Christine: Demo Sing our hello song while holding the mirror If children are non-verbal, parents introduce child.
Demo Christine & Heather
Describe “games” – flannel board activities; guessing games; etc. Christine: Emily and John are playing the raindrops in the cloud game. Raindrop cards have pics of different words that start the letter “R” Heather: Olivia & Naya are playing From Head to Toe, they choose a card and complete the action depicted on the card Demo “ Little Spot so short and fat are you under the ______ mat?”
Share adapted books – a variety. Christine: Color & Under the Sea examples Heather: Where’s Spot w/velcro pieces & From Head to Toe w/Target Words & Clarifying Illustrations
Heather: Stuffed Spot = See the Little Puppies & Call the Puppy Stick Puppets, I Can Do It!
Example of another story from the kits. Why we chose these for the kit – the appeal Heather: Bark, George , Pudgy a Puppy to Love, Hands Can, Kitchen Dance
iPods: Display CD w/ Playlist Examples of songs. Simple songs we can sing and adapt AND using music while we sing along and move. Roy’s Dog Rover
Examples of fingerplays Ten Little Dogs Two Little Eyes
Heather: Resource List -- Examples of theraband activities can be found online: http://www.thera-band.com/UserFiles/File/Resistance_Band-Tubing_Instruction_Manual.pdf Move to music; chants; rhythms Standing: Oliver Twist Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes Sitting: There’s a Dog in the School
Heather: Demonstrate song Downward Dog Upward Dog = Kissing Rhyme w/Beanie Baby/Snake or kiss arm, then roll on back, hug legs, and rock
Demonstrate “read alongs” Requesting multiple copies, may repeat book from beginning of stoytime, board books
Christine: “ All children are musical. They are instinctively drawn to musical sounds and rhythm.” (From the RR&TT handout.) Play sample playalong song.
Christine: Demo bubbles Heather: Sensory balance beam & Balance Beam song
Christine & Heather: Discuss social time activities Sample toys = balls, tubes, dog house, puzzles, etc.
Christine: Considerations – group size, funding,
Heather: I have solicited feedback twice in the past 16 months. I used Survey Monkey, and also encouraged families to comment via email. I send out “registration is open” emails two weeks prior to the program. For the first year, I sent to everyone who ever attended or registered for the program. After the first year mark, I “weeded” the list – removed the families who had not attended in the last six months.
Virginia Library Association Annual Conference October 2012 1
HeatherKetron Head of Youth Services Ashburn Library Loudoun County Public Library Christine Leary Youth Services Librarian Cascades Library Loudoun County Public Library 2
LOUDOUN COUNTY• 7 branches (will be 8 branches early 2013)• Population – 328, 533 (2012 estimate)• Public Schools – 80 (2011 – 2012)• School enrollment – 65, 668 (Sept. 30, 2011)• According to the US Census Bureau, Loudoun has continued to be one of the fastest growing counties in 3 the United States.
PRESENTATION PREVIEW Background Information Program Resources Keys to Success Sample Storytime & Activities Incorporating sensory activities into regular storytimes Questions 4
BACKGROUND Autism Spectrum Disorder is estimated to affect more than 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Loudoun County Public Schools – 742 students are identified as autistic. In response, Loudoun County Public Library developed a storytime program designed for children who have developmental disorders on the autism spectrum. 5
BACKGROUND (2) Autism is also known as ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder.“A child may not have the same symptoms and may seem very different from another child with the same diagnosis. It is sometimes said, that if you know one person with autism; you know one person with autism.”Source: Autism Speakswww.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/symptoms.php 6
BACKGROUND (3) These are sensory storytimes vs. “regular” storytimes. Includes sensory activities but this is not therapy. 7
BACKGROUND (4) What do we mean when we say “sensory?” External Tactile Auditory Visual Taste & Smell Internal Proprioception – muscles & joints Vestibular – movement, balance, & coordination 8
BACKGROUND (5) Sensory storytimes are good for all children, not just special needs children Open Door Storytime = Provides families with a storytime where they can relax, with others who are familiar with autistic behaviors 9
PURPOSE In accordance with Loudoun County Public Library policy and Early Literacy Guidelines, the Open Door Special Needs Storytime programs shall exist to: Share and model the importance of early literacy activities with parents and children; Provide sensory integration experiences ; Create and sustain an accepting and welcoming library environment for special needs children and their families. 10
OBJECTIVES Through participation in the Open Door Special Needs Storytime program, children ages 3-5 will share early literacy experiences. Specifically, participants will: Participate in a variety of early literacy activities Engage in sensory activities Develop positive relationships with participants and library staff Become aware of library resources 11
FUNDING Funding for Open Door Special Needs Storytime comes from the Loudoun County Public Library operating budget. 100 Women Strong grant = $3000 12
PARTICIPATION From June 2011 – August 2012 22 Open Door programs were presented in 2 LCPL branches Average attendance was 16 participants Saturday Afternoons Thursday Evenings – was changed to Sat afternoons 13
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT Open Door program plans were developed through library staff collaboration utilizing popular storytimes themes to take advantage of existing library resources to promote sensory engagement with books and themes 14
PROGRAM RESOURCES Library collection (books and CD’s) Local organizations & agencies Staff! Websites Vendors/Suppliers Boardmaker software 15
ROLE OF LIBRARY STAFF We are supplementing, enriching , and extending children’s literacy development We complement school instruction, we do not provide instruction, remediation, or therapy. Our role is to facilitate and support children’s learning. Our role is also to create a setting where children have a positive, life-enhancing experience in the library. 16
SOME KEYS TO SUCCESS Positive, Supportive, Encouraging Predictable and Structured (for the children) Flexibility (for the staff) FOCUS =Children vs. “teaching” Community partnerships The parents Having a reasonably sized group 17
OPEN DOOR COMPONENTS Books! Visual Schedule Use the same opening and closing routines Weighted lap snakes, carpet squares Big Mack switch Flannel board Props Music & Rhymes Movement Unison Reading – “read along” 18 Social Time
Sung to : “Skip to My Lou” Fish, fish, swim up high, Fish, fish, swim down low, Fish, fish, swim so fast, Fish, fish, swim so slow.Using a song on a CD:Walking, WalkingWalking, walking, walking, walkingHop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hopRunning, running, running.Running, running, running.Now let’s stop. Now let’s stop! 27
Two little black birdsSitting on a hill.One named Jack,One named Jill.Fly away Jack,Fly away Jill.Come back Jack, Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,Come back Jill. Swish your fluffy tail. Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, Swish your fluffy tail. Wrinkle up your little nose Hold a nut between your toes. Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, Swish your fluffy tail. 28
This is a nice way to share a story. Especially for thekids who have visual impairments. They can have the 31book close to them so they can see the illustrations.
• Utilizing instruments provides a way to reinforce the musical experience and help make it lots of fun!• A wonderful way to express themselves non-verbally. 32
Our ending routine includes a “goodbyesong”, a with a walk on the sensory beamand some bubble popping. 33
Toys, painting, coloring, books, blocks,balls, etc. 34
INCORPORATING SENSORY ELEMENTSINTO ANY STORYTIMEMake specific items/elements a regular part of every storytime. • Use the BIGmack switch in your opening/closing song. • Reread a book in unison • Repeat a book as a flannel • Seating - Use carpet squares; rug; or Educubes • Use adapted books • Tactile items – cotton balls; sandpaper • Add a visual schedule • Use the sensory beam at the end of every storytime as your closing activity.If time allows, have “play time” at the end of your storytimes. 35Bring out the toys, puzzles, soft balls, etc.
PROGRAM FEEDBACK “I’m so glad the library is doing this for our special kids.” “What a wonderful, much needed service for our area!” “It is nice to have a place where people don’t look at us funny for the odd way my daughter behaves.” “We really enjoy coming to the library!” 36
Thank you for coming! Handouts and presentation are posted on the Conference website, www.vla.org Your Questions Contact Us:Heather.Ketron@loudoun.govChristine.Leary@loudoun.gov 37