When the room in the Northwest Akron Branch Library is set up for the Sensory Storytime program, Librarian Trish Twarogowski makes sure there are minimal distractions, so the children may feel safe yet still get to experience the educational benefits of the library system. The program, a partnership between the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Autism Society of Greater Akron, offers a safe and non-judgmental environment for children with special needs such as autism.
As even the sounds of clapping hands could distract and disturb some of these children, whose senses are perpetually heightened, Twarogowski encourages the children to tap their knees in lieu of applause, and she selects music that’s intended to be relaxing yet stimulating.
“Sensory Storytime is about meeting the families where they are,” said Laurie Cramer, the parent of a child who attends the program.
A grant from Akron Community Foundation’s Millennium Fund for Children has enabled the program to purchase items such as the Sensory Balance Beam.
The program is offered monthly. To find out more, call (330) 643-4702 or visit northwestakronbranch.akronlibrary.org.