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Santa Barbara Public Library Offers New Programs for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to the CDC. Santa Barbara Public Library is offering new programs for these families in our community.

As part of three programs, Central Library will offer a sensory storytime on the first and last Saturday of the month at 1:30 pm.

Sensory Storytime aims to provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for all children to learn and grow. Small groups, structure, and sensory activities create an environment for sensory seekers and the sensory sensitive.

The storytime will be a bit shorter than traditional storytimes, with more time for sensory play and social skill-building. This storytime is best for ages 3-7, but all ages and abilities welcome.

Registration is required for sensory storytime in order to keep the class size small. Register for February 3rdFebruary 24thMarch 3rd, and March 31st.

In addition to children’s programming, Santa Barbara Public Library is partnering with the Koegel Autism Center at the University of Santa Barbara to present highly engaging and informative content to the local community in the monthly Autism Seminar & Discussion (ASD) Series, which will take place the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm in the Faulkner Gallery at Central Library, 40 E Anapamu.

The first topic in the ASD Series is Raising a Social Child (with Autism) and will be on February 6th. This presentation will focus on practical strategies to motivate and empower toddlers, children, and teenagers to create meaningful peer connections. Drawing from the latest research on friendship formation and maintenance, this presentation will highlight strategies that parents, school staff, and other professionals can implement across community settings to jumpstart social relationships for youth with autism.

It will be facilitated by Dr. Ty Vernon is the Director of UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, & School Psychology, and a licensed clinical psychologist. His research interests focus on the development of social interventions for individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorder.

This partnership will enable the internationally recognized Koegel Autism Center to share its innovative autism research and clinical training expertise with the wider Santa Barbara community.

“Santa Barbara Public Library endeavors to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, so we hope that families with children who may find the busy, vibrant atmosphere and larger class sizes of our other storytimes overstimulating, will find this a more comfortable and inviting learning experience,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente. “And of course we’re thrilled to be able to work with the Koegel Autism Center to make their research and expertise more accessible to the community.”

Future presentations in the ASD Series will focus on sharing strength-based, motivational interventions and supports for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

To stay informed individuals can access the SBPL web calendar with all events, programs, and classes and/or sign-up for the SBPL newsletter.

Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System online at for information about library hours, locations, programs, and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.


Contact: Molly Wetta, Senior Librarian for Youth Services


Phone: (805) 564-5642

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