April is National Autism Awareness Month. According to the Autism Society, autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. In fact, one child in every 68 will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
One year ago, the Iowa City Public Library started offering Sensory Storytimes, designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, or other developmental disabilities. Sensory Storytimes combine stories and songs with tactile activities and props to create sensory-rich experiences. Other details help create a safe and welcoming environment for kids and their families:
- A visual schedule to help us transition from one activity to the next
- A room free of distractions
- The expectation that kids will talk and move during the program
- Sharing the experience with other families that understand
Through the summer, Sensory Storytimes will be held on the first Saturday of each month at 1:30 pm, lasting about 30 minutes. Our next one is on May 3. To prepare for your visit, take a look at our “Child’s Introduction to the Library” social story, available at www.icpl.org/kids.
In planning for the next school year, the Library is looking for your input. If you have a child who would benefit from Sensory Storytimes, please let us know what times would work best for you and how else we can meet your needs at the Library. You can email your suggestions to me at Vickie-Pasicznyuk@icpl.org