The importance of storytelling in social, cultural and educational contexts is well established and documented. The extension of storytelling to people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) has in recent years been undertaken with an emphasis on the value of sensory experience and the context storytelling provides for social interaction. The present study builds on earlier curriculum orientated research with a view to describe patterns of social and storyoriented interaction during storytelling. The stories dealt with sensitive topics raised by family carers who wished the young person with PIMD to understand. Behavioural observation during storytelling sessions explored changes in engagement while semi-structured interviews with parents and professionals explored the extent to which the experience had benefitted the young person with respect to the sensitive topic. Positive changes in engagement with the story were shown for seven of the eight participants. For six of the seven, a parent and a professional agreed that the outcome of the experience positively enabled the participant to cope better with the sensitive topic. The specific multi-sensory storytelling factors leading to these outcomes are discussed, as is the issue of proxy reporting and determining the nature of understanding in people with PIMD.
Young, H., Fenwick, M., Lambe, L., & Hogg, J. (2011). Multi-sensory storytelling as an aid to assisting people with profound intellectual disabilities to cope with sensitive issues: a multiple research methods analysis of engagement and outcomes. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 26(2), 127-142. https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2011.563603