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Some benefits of storytelling for children with autism

January 1, 2019

Stories are a great way of learning about our world and are extremely fun and entertaining as well. Children love listening to stories and enjoy storytelling with parents, teachers or other family members.

Storytelling can also be used for children with autism to help them understand about a variety of things. Stories help capture the interest of the audience and they are also easy to remember. When a family member tells a story, it helps create a closer bond with the children with autism.

Children with autism face developmental and communication related problems. They also find it challenging to focus on a particular activity for long.

Here are a few ways that storytelling can benefit children with autism.

  1. Stories bring the narrator and listener closer, can be used as trust building activity.

  2. Simple example based stories can become valuable lessons for children. For example telling them about hygiene, personal safety through stories.

  3. There are innumerable stories that can be created as per the grasping and understanding power of the children since every kid is unique.

  4. Stories are easy to remember and stay with us for a long time and can act as reference for future.

  5. Children can learn new words, expressions and gestures through storytelling.

  6. Stories can be used to help children with autism learn about emotions and feelings.

  7. Children with autism find it easier to relate to their surroundings when they hear stories. For instance, hearing a story of a red bus and then seeing it the road can help the child relate to the outside world.

  8. Parents or family members can spend quality time together through story telling. This can also help the child feel calmer, safer and happier.

Ranjani Chandrasegar , parent and SCAN member spoke to NewzHook." My son showed better understanding when he was told stories as examples. Due to lack of attention span, sometimes it makes more sense when children are taken outside and told stories about things, as children may not like to sit down and read the story out of a book. " Ranjani Chandrasegar, parent of child with autism

Some ideas about story telling.

- Stories can be taken from other sources or can be made through imagination depending on what the child will enjoy.

- Props, pictures or other visual aids can be used to help the child understand.

- Use of hand movements, voice modification and facial expressions can make for a fun learning experience.

- It is better to stat with simple and short stories and repeat them for better understanding.

- Narrators can also encourage the children to mimic expressions and help them relate sounds to expressions.

"Each child can learn ... some just need to be taught a little differently" Radha Tandon, Director PRAANGAN Centre for children with special educational needs.

Story telling can act as an effective tool and enable children with autism get a better grasp of things around them.

ALSO READ: Here are some ideas to help children learn about disabilities

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