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Multisensory Stories

May 4, 2016


Multisensory stories are a relatively new and increasingly popular activity for children and adults with learning disabilities. They combine the unique human experience of storytelling and the importance of sensory stimulation to offer a unique activity for people with complex needs.


The idea behind sensory stories is to offer storytelling in a way which means the listener does not have to understand the language of the story in order to understand the entire activity. They are usually around ten pages long and along with each sentence, a sensory experience is offered to the listener to support the language of the story. This might be a musical instrument, a cuddly toy to feel or a button to press.


Sensory stories are a fantastic group activity as well as an engaging and enjoyable individual activity. Not only are sensory stories fun but there is plenty of research which provides evidence for the benefits as well. Some of the benefits of sensory stories include:


Learning and literacy skills

Physical responsiveness and motor skills

Behavioural and communicative response - anticipation, recognition, attention to stimuli, vocalisations

Social interventions


These are just a few of the many benefits of sensory stories, if you would like to know more about sensory stories or would like some help finding links to the literature which demonstrate the effectiveness of sensory stories please feel free to contact us. We are currently developing a training course which will offer a unique perspective into the theory and practical aspects of sensory stories and how these support communication. For further details, please contact Total Communication CIC Services via the website.



Rhiannon Matthews

Story teller/ research student

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