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Social Stories SS i Sensory Strategies = Sensory Stories



                                                           A short simple story that teaches the a child 
                                                           strategies for handling their over responsiveness 
                                                           during a targeted occupation

                                                          Children with over-responsive sensory
                   Our role as parents / teachers /
                   therapists / aides is to equip         modulation issues that impact their
                   students with the knowledge,           ability to engage in occupations.
                   skills, and attitudes for school and
                   for lifelong success.

                   Children with sensory modulation
                   difficulties have barriers to
                   participation in various tasks.

                   Sensory Stories: a tool to
                   increase children’s participation in
                   typical events.

                                                           Combing Hair
  Social Stories                                           Ear Cleaning
        +                                                  Getting Dressed in the 
S       S       i
Sensory Strategies                                         M i
                                                           Nail Care
        =                                                  Showering
  Sensory Stories                                          Tooth Brushing
                                                           Washing Hair


  Assemblies                                             Getting a Haircut
  Being in Lines                                         Going to a Restaurant
  Cafeteria                                              Going to a Store
  Circle Time / Floor Time                               Going to Parties
                                                         Going to Places of Worship
  Desk Time
                                                         Going to the Dentist
  Eating Time
                                                         Going to the Doctor
  Moving in the School                                   Riding in an Elevator
  Outdoor Recess                                         Riding in the Car
  Physical Education Class                               Riding on an Escalator
  School Bus Ride

Sensory Integration/Sensory Processing: Focus is the 
child with a modulation problem (overresponsive)        1.  Strategies that provide inhibitory sensory 
                                                           input to the child.
Cognitive Behavioral: Self control through 
empowerment                                             2.  Strategies that minimize sensory input 
                                                          from the environment.
Teaching/Learning Process: Visual and auditory input 
coupled with practice

                                                               An assembly is a special time in the school day
                                                          when children go to a big room. There they listen and learn 
                                                                              from special people.


Sometimes it is noisy and crowded. Some children don’t like 
                                                               I can do special things to make it easier to go to assemblies. 
  being in crowded places. They don’t like the noise. They 
                                                                  Before I go to the assembly I can put on 
  also don’t like being bumped.
                                                                      my heavy fanny pack. That helps me to be calm.

           Then I might put on my headphones.                     When I get to my seat at the assembly, I can do an elbow 
                 That makes it less noisy.                              check to make sure no one is sitting too close.

            During the assembly, I can make                               When I'm sitting and listening, I can push
             my muscles tight like a statue.                       my hands down really hard on my legs and then give
           Then I take a deep breath and relax.                   myself a big hug. These activities make it easier to listen.


                                                             The child who:
                                                                          p                y
                                                               is over‐responsive to sensory information
                                                               has an unsuccessful routine with attending a school 
                                                               has negative behaviors when it comes time to attend a 
              When the assembly is over, I can stretch         school assembly
           my arms up high and take another deep breath.
                 Assemblies at school can be fun!

                                                             Change the text to meet the child’s individual 
 The story would be read daily to the child prior to         needs
 and /or during the activity.                                  Preferred words, elevated language, simplified 
 Therapists /teachers /parents can read the story to           language
 the child                                                   Change the sensory strategy
                                                             Ch     h           
 The child can read the story him / herself                    Menu of options available
 Stories can be read daily (regularly occurring events)      Change the stated effect 
 Commit to a 3 month period of reading the story to 
 allow a successful routine to develop                       Add the child’s name
 Stories can be read frequently prior to the event           Decorate the cover page
 (irregularly occurring events)                              Make a booklet for the story

                                                           4.  Strategies that can prepare the child for the 
1.   Introduction to the targeted experience                  experience.

                                                           5. Outlining the steps of the experience and the 
2.   Identification of the potential negative 
                                                              strategies to be used during the experience.
     sensory input during that experience

                                                           6. Strategies at the conclusion of the experience.
3.   Acknowledgement that the experience can 
     be unpleasant/uncomfortable
                                                           7. Ending the story on a positive note.


                                                                 2 & 3 Identification of the potential negative 
                                                                   sensory input during that experience
                                                                   Acknowledgement that the experience can be 
1.    Introduction to the targeted experience                      Sometimes it is noisy and crowded. Some children 
       An assembly is a special time in the school day when        don’t like being in crowded places. They don’t like 
       children go to a big room  There they listen and learn 
       children go to a big room.                                  the noise  They also don t like being bumped.
                                                                   the noise.  hey also don’t like being bumped
       from special people.

     4.   Strategies that can prepare the                               5. Outlining the steps of the 
          child for the experience.                                        experience and the 
          I can do special things to make it                               strategies to be used during 
          easier to go to assemblies. Before I                             the experience.
          go to the assembly I can put on my                               During the assembly, I can 
          heavy fanny pack. That helps me to                               make my muscles tight like a 
                                                                                    y            g
          be calm.                                                         statue. Then I take a deep 
          Then I might put on my                                           breath and relax.
          headphones. That makes it less                                   When I'm sitting and 
          noisy.                                                           listening, I can push my 
          When I get to my seat at the                                     hands down really hard on 
          assembly, I can do an elbow check                                my legs and then give myself 
          to make sure no one is sitting too                               a big hug. These activities 
          close.                                                           make it easier to listen.

      6. Strategies at the conclusion of 
         the experience.                                             Determine a situation for which a SENSORY Story 
         When the assembly is over, I can                            would be appropriate
         stretch my arms up high and                                 Determine the unpleasant sensations associated 
         take another deep breath.                                   with that particular activity
      7. Ending the story on a positive                              Id if   l i                     i  h         h  h
                                                                     Identify calming sensory strategies that match the  
         note.                                                       unpleasant sensation 
                                                                       Tactile ‐> Tactile
         Assemblies at school can be fun!                              Proprioceptive ‐> Proprioceptive
                                                                       Vestibular ‐> Vestibular 
                                                                     Identify environmental and activity modifications 
                                                                     that can limit the unpleasant sensations


Keep the language at an appropriate level for 
the reader.
Try to be as concise as possible                                         Give the child at least 2 inhibitory strategies to 
Limit use of directive sentences                                         prepare for the event . . . And 2 during the event
Instead use suggestive sentences:  I can . . .  I 
       d                                                                 Identify the intended results of the strategy for 
like to . . . It helps me to . . .                                       the child (i.e. that helps me to be calm)
Analyze the sensory properties of the event and                          Steps 1‐3 are to be written in the third person 
choose strategies that match those challenges                            and 4‐7 in the first person

                                                                               Thanks for Attending!!!!
There are 9 Level 4 studies conducted to date on                                  Questions and Suggestions ??
Sensory Stories
Studies have included stories for school, home                       
                                                                               www sensorystories com
and community
All studies indicate that the majority of children                   
who try them have some type of positive 
More research is planned over the next several 
years                                                                     Tory Nackley             Debbie Marr

 Abreu, B. C. (2003). Evidence-based practice. In G. L. McCormack,        Marr, D., Gal, E., & Nackley, V. (2006). Sensory Stories: Improving
 E. G. Jaffe, & M. Goodman-Lavey (Eds.), The occupational therapy         participation for children with sensory modulation dysfunction (SMD).
 manager,(4th ed., pp. 373). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.                    Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, 15(2), E41-53.
                                                                          Marr, D., & Nackley, V. L. (2005, Summer). Sensory Stories: A new
 Bacon, K., Donohue, A., Reeder, K., & Spano, A. (2007). Can a            tool to improve participation for children with over-responsive
 customized Sensory Story help a child tolerate more foods?               sensory modulation. S. I. Focus, 8-11.
 Unpublished master’s thesis. Utica College, Utica, New York.             Marr, D. & Nackley, V. (2006). Sensory stories. Framingham, MA:
 Bailey, J., Clymo, S., Murphy, J., & Petryshyn, M. (2009). The effect    Theraproducts.
 of Sensory Stories on participation in nail care Unpublished
                                             care.                        Marr, D Mika H Miraglia, J., Roerig, M., Sinnott, R. (2007).
                                                                          Marr D., Mika, H. Miraglia J Roerig M & Sinnott R (2007) The
 master’s thesis. Utica College, Utica New York.                          effect of Sensory Stories on targeted behaviors in preschool children
 Gray, C. (2000). The new social story book. Arlington, TX: Future        with autism. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 27,
 Horizons.                                                                63-79.
 Kliment, A., Pelan, D., & Huchro, L. (2007). Can Sensory Stories         Shepard, C., Knoop, M., & Telarole, J. (2008). The effect of Sensory
 elicit a change in behavior? Unpublished master’s thesis. Utica          Stories on participation while getting a haircut for children with
 College, Utica New York.                                                 sensory processing disorders. Unpublished master’s thesis. Utica
 Marr, D., Mika, H., Miraglia, J., Roerig, M., & Sinnott, R. 2007. The    College, Utica, NY.
 effect of Sensory Stories on targeted behaviors in preschool             Sherick, J. R. (2004). The effects of sensory stories on behaviors in
 children with autism. Physical and Occupational Therapy in               children with autism. Unpublished master’s thesis, The Ohio State
 Pediatrics. 27, 63-79.                                                   University, Columbus, Ohio.


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