Factors influencing attentiveness of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities in multisensory storytelling

Ten Brug, A., Van der Putten, A. A. J., Penne, A., Maes, B. & Vlaskamp, C., Sep-2015, In : Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. 12, 3, p. 190-198 9 p.

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  • Factors influencing attentiveness of people with profound intellectual

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Multisensory storytelling (MSST) is a storytelling method developed for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD). The developers of MSST have established specific guidelines aimed at increasing the listener's attention. Whether, and to what extent, these guidelines indeed increase the listener' attentiveness is unknown. This study analyzed the relationship between the effects of these guidelines and the attentiveness of listeners with PIMD. Some 45 storytellers created an MSST book tailored to a person with PIMD. The book was read 10 times, and video recordings were made of the first, fifth, and tenth reading sessions. For each session, the percentage of attention paid to the storyteller and to the book was scored using an interval method. The relationship between adherence to the guidelines (repetition, use of original text, offering stimuli actively, and use of neutral background) and attentiveness of the person with PIMD was then analyzed. During storytelling, the listeners were attentive to MSST for an average of 69% of the time. The attention increased between the first and fifth reading sessions, and then dropped between the fifth and tenth sessions. Part of the guidelines (repetition, actively offering the stimuli and duration of the story) were positively related to the amount of the listeners' attention; for other parts of the guidelines (using original text and using neutral background), no significant correlations were found. The results of this study can help with developing clearer instructions to new storytellers. To optimize the attentiveness of a person with PIMD to an MSST story, the authors recommend that the storyteller takes ample time to read the book and provides the listener with active access to the stimuli.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2015

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