A good read: a study into the use and effects of multi-sensory storytelling; a storytelling method for persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities.

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In order to include persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) into our storytelling culture, multi-sensory storytelling (MSST) has been developed. In a multi-sensory book, verbal text is supported by sensory stimuli, the form and content of the book are adjusted to the individual. MSSTs primary goal is to be an enjoyable activity. Storytelling can however, also serve goals such as increasing the listeners’ involvement with their environment, let the listener learn to recognize the story, help the storyteller to gain knowledge about the preferences and abilities of the listener, or to facilitate interaction between the storyteller and listener. An alert listener with attention to the story is essential for both the experience of pleasure, as for the achievement of the described goals.
On the basis of this study it can be concluded that MSST, in addition to a pleasant activity, is also suitable for people with PIMD. While the listener pays attention to the book and the storyteller, the storyteller has the opportunity to acquire more information on the listeners’ preferences and abilities. To promote the listeners’ alertness and attention, the storyteller should offer the stimuli in such a way that the listener could manipulate or explore the stimuli. The book should be read regularly in the same way. The storyteller must be also alert to (changes in) the behavior of the listener, and adapt activities offered to these changes. MSST is one of the few evidence-based interventions that have been developed specifically for persons with PIMD.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Vlaskamp, Carla, Supervisor
  • van der Putten, Annette, Co-supervisor
Award date19-Jan-2015
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-5963-081-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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