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Living Paintings

A “delightful” new twist on story time for Phoebe, 18

5th November 2019

We recently heard from one family about how Living Paintings has transformed a very important part of their day.  Phoebe’s mum shares their story.

“Phoebe is 18 years old and has Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, which is a chromosome disorder where part of chromosome 18 is missing. For Phoebe, this means she has profound and multiple learning difficulties, she is not mobile and is unable to communicate. Phoebe is very short-sighted and wears glasses.

For the most part, her world is very much all that is close to her – right under her nose, so to speak! Having said all that she is a bright, happy young lady who enjoys any activity that stimulates her senses. She has always enjoyed story times and we have always looked at books together.

Library member reading Touch to See book, Hairy McClary

While she was in primary school, in a multi-sensory impaired class, her teacher introduced us to Living Paintings; Phoebe delighted in this different way of exploring books and stories. We contacted Living Paintings and have been exploring and enjoying our deliveries ever since.

It is difficult to ascertain how much Phoebe understands but it is clear that she delights in listening to different voices and loves the way preschool-age stories have rhythm and alliteration as they are read, and beautiful artwork and illustrations to further explore. I read the story to Phoebe and we look at the pictures together, and listen as they are explained. Phoebe looks very closely at the feely pictures and, though she doesn’t feel over them as they are described, she does run her hands over them and appears to enjoy the 3D nature of the pictures, which really do add a unique, extra dimension to Phoebe’s story time.

Each story time lasts around 30 minutes, which is just right for Phoebe’s level of interaction and limited concentration.

We are so grateful to have this resource freely available to us and we very much hope it can continue for us, and other families that undoubtedly benefit.”

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.

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