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Digital Sensory Storytime

This four-part tutorial shows how and why to develop a "digital sensory storytime", as one way to include children with autism in your library programming. This technique is responsive to needs of children with autism and other sensory processing issues, and is also interesting and attractive to typically developing children. It provides an option for incorporating technology, and leveraging its benefits, in developing a sensory storytime. An accompanying resource guide links to the resources discussed in the tutorial, and to additional tools, supports, best practices, and general information about library services to young people with autism and to their families.

Presenter Amy Price, former librarian at Oakstone Academy in Westerville, Ohio, promotes the use of digital storybooks and the practice of inclusion to support children with autism and other sensory processing disorders. Amy's LSTA-funded project at Oakstone Academy indicated that children with sensory processing issues benefit from the use of interactive digital books, for reading and for experiencing library programming.

The tutorial includes segments on Autism and the Library, Interactive eBooks, Preparing Your Environment, and Communication During Storytime. Each segment is between 15-26 minutes long.

Digital Sensory Storytime Tutorial

Digital Sensory Storytime: Part 1: Autism and the Library


Digital Sensory Storytime: Part 2: Interactive eBooks


Digital Sensory Storytime: Part 3: Preparing Your Environment


Digital Sensory Storytime: Part 4: Communication During Storytime

Credits: This tutorial was developed and recorded by Amy Price, Librarian at Oakstone Academy. Editing and production by Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Library Consultant, State Library of Ohio; and Michelle Garver, Information Services Specialist, Columbus Metropolitan Library. Michelle's participation was made possible through a Kent State University School of Library and Information Science Culminating Practicum assignment at the State Library of Ohio. The demonstration of Green Eggs and Ham is presented with the permission of Oceanhouse Media. The demonstration of Story Creator is presented with the permission of Alligator Apps. Permission to use photos in Part 2: Interactive eBooks granted by Heather Blake/Vernon Area Public Library, and by Dru Nadler. Permission to use photo in Part 3: Preparing Your Environment ("Awareness: What will they see?") granted by Tricia Twarogowski. Thanks to Sara Kloek and Alexandra Cooke at ACT: The App Association for sharing information about Moms with Apps. Thanks to Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Mandy Knapp, and Kirsten Krumsee at the State Library of Ohio for technical assistance and advice.

Please note that descriptions and demonstrations of products, and links to product websites, are provided as a service to libraries and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the State Library of Ohio or IMLS.

Digital Sensory Storytime Resource Guide

Storytime resources

Digital books/apps/iPad resources

General resources for working with patrons with autism in the library

Tools and supports described in the tutorial

Autism Organizations

Additional Resources

Thank you to Kathleen Carter, intern at EducatorLabs, for recommending additional resources for this guide.

About the Presenter

Amy Price worked from 2001-2014 at Oakstone Academy, a private school in central Ohio serving students with autism, and their non-disabled peers; ages 12 months to 22 years. Oakstone Academy's academic and social inclusion model features not only a classroom but a school-wide environment that fosters high expectations in behavior and academic achievement for all students. Amy became involved with the State Library of Ohio when she received an Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA grant awarded by the State Library of Ohio, that allowed her to study and implement a school-wide iPad project. In 2012, Amy received her MLIS degree from Kent State University.