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Storysharing: Developing personal experience narratives with young people with complex needs

Session 
8.3a
SPR
  • Nicola Grove (Openstorytellers)
  • Jane Harwood (Openstorytellers)
  • Judy Dumont (Threeways School)
Summary

This presentation aims to illustrate the use of 'Storysharing' through total communication and the use of simple voice output devices, with young people who have severe language and communication difficulties.

Method/Activities/Techniques

The Storysharing programme was used systematically with groups and with individuals to teach: identification and focus on the experience; co-narration using all resources available to the individual; and active listening by the audience.

Results/Findings

Results indicate that the programme enabled young people to represent their wishes in decision making contexts, to empathise and befriend each other, and to develop their communication skills. A range of devices proved useful in both direct telling and recording the stories.

Conclusions

The sharing of personal experiences through story is a vital skill which does not always come naturally to young people with severe communication difficulties and those who live and work with them. Storysharing has proved an effective strategy, provided that enough time and resources can be allocated to its development, and that total communication resources are recognised and deployed.

Level of Session 
1
Age Group 
All Ages
Interest 
1
2
3
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6
8