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8 Reasons You Should Use Storytelling in Your Speech Therapy Sessions

Storytelling is an integral part of out lives, from the time we are young children to the time we are very old. There are countless reasons to take advantage of storytelling as a therapeutic medium, but I'll give you 8!

1. Storytelling is personally relevant.

[Most] people enjoy talking about themselves. Sharing personal experiences and stories can be very motivating and affirming. Rarely will a child turn down a chance to talk about themself, even if they don't have the language skills to do so effectively. No teeth pulling when it comes to storytelling!

2. Storytelling is socially relevant.

We tell and share stories for entertainment, to get praise and attention, and to connect with others. We learn about and relate one another as exchange stories about our experiences. Consider the importance of storytelling in the following social activities:

  • Dating

  • Making friends

  • Mealtime conversations

  • Sustaining friendships

  • (e.g., catching up with friends)

  • Film & screen writing

3. Storytelling is academically relevant.

Retell and generation of stories are integral parts of most academic curriculums. Additionally, the complexity of language ("academic language") that storytelling necessitates mirrors the complexity that is required for success across academic areas.

4. Storytelling is culturally relevant.

Almost all cultures tell stories. While the structure and content emphases may vary, the practice of storytelling is ubiquitous.

5. Storytelling Supports Safety and Self-Advocacy

If an individual is ever in danger or observes another to be in danger, it is important for that individual to be able to convey the information they saw with sufficient detail and clarity to get help. The ability to retell recent experiences also allows an individual to self-advocate, explain

actions, and avoid undue blame.

6. Storytelling Supports Regulation and Problem Solving

A story grammar schema can be used as a familiar script for coregulation, as en effective framework for facilitating self-regulation, and to guide/scaffold independent problem solving. It helps individuals recognize problems, their associated emotions and their ability to attempt to fix the problem and return to a regulated state.

7. Storytelling is a powerful context for speech and language skills.

You can target virtually any goal or skill in the context of storytelling. Storytelling is a complex skill that requires grasp and balance of speech, language and executive functioning skills. The contextualization of speech and language targets within stories make the targets (and errors) meaningful and promotes generalization of skills.

8. Stories are learning devices.

The engaging nature of stories and their rich context allow them to be great conduits for learning. Stories can convey messages, intentionally (like fables or parables) or unintentionally as listeners/readers themselves draw parallels and similarities between their own

lives and the stories they hear/read.

Have I convinced you that storytelling might be sometime to consider in your practice?;)

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