This is absolutely because I was on multi-sensory storytelling training on Monday, and it was rad.
Storytelling is a fantastic medium for getting any idea across though. It makes it memorable, provides representation, and makes it fun. There are studies upon studies that prove we learn and remember so much better when we’re having fun.
Stories can provoke emotions and teach you about experience you haven’t had, or can’t. They transport you across the world, and to new worlds.
I’ve seen people online complaining lately that too many stories have queer characters, or female leads, or feminist messages. Because apparently we’re not allowed to have lives like ours shown in literature.
The multi-sensory storytelling I talked about at the top is extraordinary. Usually used by people with mental and physical difficulties, ranging from (this is my least favourite term ever) “high-functioning” to “profound”. They can be personal, social or cultural, and are so much fun.
The standard for is a series of boards with attachments, and a simple story to correspond. We have one about a seaside trip, complete with knitted ice cream, foam seagull puppet and tile that plays music when pressed.
Our service users love it. And I might get fed up of going over the same story dozens of times, but they will come to know it, to anticipate what is coming next, and maybe even tell us the story in return. It helps with memory, confidence, coordination, and even skills we might think are relatively simple, like sitting and listening, and turn taking.
Stories have a magical power, and can do so much.
You’ll see me shouting about stories with queer characters, feminist ideas, by writers of colour and trans writers all the time on twitter, and I won’t be stopping any time soon.
In a world like ours, stories can be powerful tools. It’s up to us to utilise them.