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Serving Young Children With ASD #PLA2012

ASD Storytime MaterialsOne of the really standout programs I’ve seen at #PLA2012 was about creating adapted storytimes for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. With the rate of Autism diagnosis on the rise, this is a segment of our communities that we can’t ignore, and the parents of youth on the spectrum are so desperate for programming for their children. The two presenters, Anne Leon and Meagan Albright from the Sherman Library in Florida, made doing a program like this sound doable (if not exactly easy). More importantly, they emphasized the great value and benefit of programs for ASD youth. Is seems like this work would require many of us to reach outside of our comfort zones, especially if one is not accustomed to being around special needs youth, in order to create adapted, safe spaces for this population. I mean, try and imagine what it would be like to experience extreme panic when the temperature changes a few degrees, or the light gets too bright, or at a sudden loud noise. Anne and Meagan offered practical suggestions and storytime ideas to adapt programs for youth with these sensitivities. If you’d like more information and resources from their program, visit their ASD Storytime site.


  1. Renee Grassi

    This program sounds fantastic and so valuable to the library community. I so wish I could have gone to PLA this year, but thank you so much for linking to the website. A wealth of information and a great model for libraries serving special needs communities.

  2. Elizabeth Corbett

    I went to this program at PLA, and it was really spectacular. Thanks for posting about it and including the link. I work with older children with ASD from a local elementary school, and I am eager to expand my sevices to families with preschool children.

  3. Ashley Waring

    Thank you for sharing! It is always interesting to see the different ways special needs storytimes are arranged and presented. Thank you for linking to their site; I love the social stories they included.

  4. Karen Burke

    I also attended this session. It was very informative and gave me lots of ideas for things we could do to tweak our current special needs storytimes.

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