Blogger Renee Grassi, Child Advocacy, Library Design and Accessibility, Programming Ideas, Special Needs Awareness

Social Stories: Supporting Children with Special Needs

There are many of us in youth services that cannot afford the time, the staff, or the funds to create new programs specifically for children with special needs.  At the same time, we want to be able to welcome the growing number of children with disabilities to our libraries.  The reality is that visiting a new place for the first time can be stressful for children with developmental disorders, and this anxiety may be enough to keep those children and their families at home.  What can libraries do, then, to support those with special needs who are walking through our doors for the very first time? While I was planning my first special needs storytime, someone shared with me a link to the Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected website.  This online resource promotes “best practices and universal service for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families helping staff to improve their ability to provide excellent, inclusive, universal…