ORCID : 0000-0003-3074-9154
ORCID : 0000-0002-5955-4222
ORCID : 0000-0001-8464-1961
ORCID : 0000-0002-2209-9289
Australasian Journal of Special and Inclusive Education
Cambridge University Press
School of Education
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021
Sensorium Theatre Inc
It is generally acknowledged that alternative strategies are required to enable children with disability to access storytelling activities. In this study, we sought to analyse the benefits of one such strategy: an arts-based multisensory story and rhyme program delivered to children with Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. In order to determine the engagement and impact of the program on the participants, data were collected through a series of multisensory session observations, focus group interviews with parents of participants, and interviews with performing artists delivering the program. The findings of this study revealed multiple benefits of using sensory stimuli to engage children with disability in storytelling processes, including increased engagement, focus, and interaction with other children and family members. The performing artists used their knowledge and skills to create an engaging environment that was responsive to the children’s needs. It was observed that language development could be further enhanced by integrating written text into the performance and increasing the use of nonverbal communication methods. Further, the engagement of siblings without disability in this program suggested that it could be developed to be inclusive of children with and without disability.
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Society and Culture
Creativity, culture and artistic practice