Storytelling, Special Needs and Disabilities : Practical Approaches for Children and Adults book cover
2nd Edition

Storytelling, Special Needs and Disabilities
Practical Approaches for Children and Adults

Edited By

Nicola Grove

ISBN 9780367746858
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
238 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Now in a fully revised and updated second edition, this innovative and wide-ranging book shows how storytelling can open new worlds for individuals with special educational needs and disabilities.

Providing a highly accessible combination of theory and practice, the contributors to this book define their own approaches to inclusive storytelling, describing the principles and theory that underpin their practice, whilst never losing sight of the joy at the heart of their work. Topics include therapeutic storytelling; language and communication; interactive and multi-sensory storytelling; and technology. Each chapter includes top tips, and signposts further training for practitioners who want to start using stories in their own work, making this book a crucial and comprehensive guide to storytelling practice with diverse learners.

This new edition:

· has been fully updated to reflect the way in which this field of storytelling has grown and developed

· uses a broad range of chapters, structured in a way that guides the reader through the conceptualisation of a storytelling approach towards its practical application

· includes an additional chapter, sharing the lived experiences of storytellers who identify as having a disability.

Full of inspiring ideas to be used with people of all ages and with a range of needs, this book will be an invaluable tool for education professionals, as well as therapists, youth workers, counsellors and theatre practitioners working in special education.

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors

Introduction - Nicola Grove

Chapter 1: Therapeutic Storytelling with Children in Need - Janet Dowling

Chapter 2: Feelings are Funny Things: Using Storytelling with Children Looked After and their Carers - Steve Killick

Chapter 3: Healing Stories with Children at Risk: The Storybuilding™ Approach - Sue Jennings

Chapter 4: What Can Teachers Learn from the Stories Children Tell? - Beth McCaffrey

Chapter 5: Lis'n Tell: Live Inclusive Storytelling: Therapeutic Education Motivating Children and Adults to Listen and Tell - Louise Coigley

Chapter 6: Interactive Storytelling - Keith Park

Chapter 7: Speaking and Listening through Narrative - Bec Shanks

Chapter 8: Using Narratives to Enhance the Language, Communication and Social Participation of Children and Young People with Speech, Language, and Communication Needs - Victoria Joffe

Chapter 9: Creative Use of Digital Storytelling - David Messer and Valerie Critten

Chapter 10: Storytelling in Sign Language for Deaf Children - Rachel Sutton-Spence

Chapter 11: Literature and Legends: Working with Diverse Abilities - Nicola Grove and Maureen Phillip

Chapter 12: Storytelling with All Our Senses: Mehr-Sinn® Geschichten - Barbara Fornefeld

Chapter 13: Multisensory Stories in Story Packs - Chris Fuller

Chapter 14: Storytelling with Nurturing Touch: The Story Massage Programme - Mary Atkinson

Chapter 15: Rich Inclusion through Sensory Stories: Stories from Science - Joanna Grace

Chapter 16: Describing and Evaluating the Storytelling Experience: A Conceptual Framework - Tuula Pulli

Chapter 17: Sensitive Stories: Tackling Challenges for People with Profound Intellectual Disabilities Through Multi-Sensory Storytelling - Loretto Lambe, Jenny Miller and Maureen Phillip

Chapter 18: Social Stories™ - Carol Gray

Chapter 19: Storysharing® Personal Narratives for Identity and Community - Nicola Grove and Jane Harwood

Chapter 20: Personal Storytelling with Deaf Blind Individuals - Gunnar Vege and Anne Nafstadt

Chapter 21: Personal Storytelling for Children who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication - Annalu Waller and Rolf Black

Chapter 22: Self-created Film & AAC Technology for Daily Storytelling - Mascha Legel and Chris Norrie

Chapter 23: Learning to Tell: Teaching Skills for Community Storytelling - Nicola Grove and Jem Dick

Chapter 24: The Autistic Storyteller: Sharing the Experience of Otherness - Justine de Mierre

Chapter 25: Tales from the Heart: Testimony from Storytellers with Learning Disabilities - Sayaka Kobayashi, The Arts end of Somewhere, and Openstorytellers

Appendix: Storytelling Organisations for Resources and Information


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Nicola Grove has a background in English teaching, speech and language therapy and university lecturing. She founded the charity Openstorytellers, and the Storysharing® approach, and is currently an independent consultant and researcher. She has published widely on augmentative and alternative communication, literature and storytelling for people with intellectual/learning disabilities, and has worked internationally with storytellers, educators and therapists. In 2020 she set up a website to collect the pandemic stories of people with learning disabilities. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and a member of the Open University Social History of Learning Disabilities Research Group.