Showing posts from August, 2013

The Importance of Play

All children benefit from play, but play is especially important for children with special needs.When I first started Playgroups at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in February 2013, I offered a session specifically for children with special needs on Wednesday mornings (a day and time I had noticed some of our families with children with special needs informally meeting on their own).Our Monday and Thursday playgroups, held out in the Kids’ World department, were well attended (30-50 people each), but my adapted playgroup, which took place in our storyroom, a much quieter and structured space, didn’t attract any customers.I eventually dissolved the Wednesday playgroup for children with special needs and held it in the department like the Monday and Thursday sessions.In addition to the usual crowd, some of my families with children with special needs attended.

Playgroups for children can be either inclusive or targeted toward a special needs population depending on your activities…

Inaugural Meeting Recap

Surprise! The first meeting of SNAILS was even bigger and better than we had envisioned! Approximately 35 attendees represented 30 libraries, and the crowd was abuzz with excitement about the new group and it's purpose.
After enjoying a beautiful spread of breakfast foods and much needed coffee along with a selection of small goodies (e.g. National Association for Downs Syndrome bookmarks, lists of recommended books for Sensory Storytime and teen programs, and Signing Time demo DVDs), we started off with a lively discussion about public libraries’ role in serving children with special needs. Some interesting comments that came out of the conversation were: The special needs community can be viewed as one piece of each town's diversity pie. Reach out to them just as you would to other groups.We have to be responsive to community need, and that need changes all the time.Parents of children with developmental differences need support and time to network with other parents who fac…