• By Don Dwiggins
  • Posted Thursday, May 5, 2016

Library Begins Storytime for Developmentally Delayed Children

Eight year old Miseal Garcia is a kid in a candy shop as he takes in the new look of the children’s area at the Carver School Road Branch Library. Freshly outfitted with a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust for their Great Expectations initiative Miseal quickly zeros in on an interactive children’s computer where he finds one of his favorite games, La Casa de Dora. It’s “game on” as Miseal leans forward staring intently into the monitor, the rhythmic click, click of the mouse punctuating the air as he plays.

Dahlia Garcia stands nearby admiring her son as he peers purposely at the computer screen, a smile of happiness creasing her face. The Library is an important part of her and her son’s life, especially after Miseal showed early signs of being developmentally delayed. “My son, he is autistic, he’s developmentally delayed. When he was diagnosed I started looking for support and resources for my him. I called several libraries and someone told me about Sensory Storytime. She was very friendly and sent me an email with the information. We tried it and loved it,” says Ms. Garcia.

Children who are developmentally delayed and diagnosed with Autism like Miseal do best in a special environment for storytime. Usually a place that is quiet with minimal outside distractions allows them to be more aware of the story being told to them. “These storytimes take a lot of time to explain what the story is about and take a lot of time to understand the story,” says Ms. Garcia.

One measure of progress for Miseal was the instant connection he made with Christina Mayhand, children’s librarian at our Carver School Road Branch. It was a connection evident from the start according to Ms. Garcia. “From the beginning you could see it. Chirstina is really good at reading the story to my son. He enjoys it very much. He is always very friendly after attending Sensory Storytime.”

Finding resources for developmentally delayed children can present its own set of challenges for parents, something Ms. Garcia knows well. With her discovery of Sensory Storytime she feels she’s happened upon a diamond-in-the-rough and urges other parents with developmentally delayed children to give it a try. “They will see differences in their child. Kids really need the type of storytime done here. It also gives parents a chance to socialize who are going through the same thing,” she says. “I just want to tell parents not to give up when searching for help for their developmentally delayed child. Come to the Library and ask questions of the people here for help and resources for your child.”

If you or someone you know would like to know more about the Library’s Sensory Storytime program call 336 703-2992 or contact your local library for details.

For more photos of Miseal click here.

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