Live Inclusive Storytelling
for Complex Communication Needs

by Louise Coigley

Thursday 31 January & Friday 1 February 2019, 9am to 5pm


“Engaging…stimulating and refreshing…You are doing important work in the bringing together of art and science.”

Lyn Darnley, Head of Voice and Artist Development, The Royal Shakespeare Company, January 2008

“Louise Coigley’s dedication to her craft, her understanding, and love of story and people result in a uniquely empathic, entertaining performer, a workshop leader who uses stories as seamless healers. She has a dynamic and infectious warmth. I would heartily recommend her to anyone seeking to bring storytelling alive in a profound and enlightening way. To know her and her work over the years has been an inspiration.”

David D. Campbell, Storyteller, Poet, Writer and Broadcaster

“Louise has an originality and range of expression that is totally unique, downright compelling and funny, a presence which gives courage, and inspires creativity.”

Ashley Ramsden, Founding Director, The International School of Storytelling, Emerson College, UK.


This is a practical two-day workshop is designed to enhance the participants’ storytelling skills, so as to engage children with complex communication needs, in order to enhance their learning, communication and social skills.

Day 1: Giving the child experience before concepts throughstorytelling

Meeting and Introductions – aims and expectations Background to Lis?n Telldelivered through an interactive talk Practical storytelling exercises, from the biographical to the ‘magical’.

  • Brief review of attention levels and narrative development of young children.
  •  Story structures that the child can relate to at different ages
  • The ‘Intro’ and the ‘Outro’ of the story, and importance of these for child’s attention levels and understanding
  • Rhythm and role, rhyme, repetition and ritual, how these techniques facilitate and enhance learning, communication and social skills, with reference to research and evidence
  • Voice and gesture techniques to enhance storytelling skills, and children’s learning, communication and social skills
  • Practising the art of pausing, to promote spontaneous participation
  • Demonstrations, questions and discussion
  • Homework to exercise the imagination: ‘seeing what you are saying’.

Day 2: Consolidation of skills from Day 1 and developing thechild’s response


  • Checking in creatively on the homework task
  • Course facilitator gives out story texts to individuals/groups
  • Small groups/individuals share their storytelling skills
  • Feedback from course leader
  • Problem solving through developing imagination and storytelling
  • Including and developing responses of children with Speech Language and Communication Needs, e.g. Autism and Learning Disabilities – weaving in therapeutic educational aims
  • Questions /discussion
  •  Rounding off – presentation of certificates of attendance
  • Questions /discussion


Dates: Thursday 31st January and Friday 1st February 2019

Timing: 9am to 5pm each day

Venue: Lecture Hall 2, Enabling Village, 20 Lengkok Bahru, Singapore, 159053

Fee: $180 Story Connection and SAS members

$280 for the public

Register at:  https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/storytelling-as-process-not-performance-tickets-53467283083

Target Participants: Storytellers, therapists, special needs educators and anyone interested in working with children with special needs

A Certificate of Participation will be awarded to all who complete the course.

Please Note: Morning and afternoon tea break refreshments are included but lunch is at your own expense.




Louise Coigley is an Independent Speech and Language Therapist and trained storyteller based in the UK. She began evolving Live Inclusive Storytelling (Lis’n Tell) as a dynamic and versatile approach to speech and language therapy over twenty years ago.

She was a volunteer in Camphill Communities for eleven years, living and working with children and adults with SEN and Autism. She has also worked for many years with the NHS, in schools and clinics with children and teenagers with moderate to severe hearing impairment, learning disabilities, semantic, pragmatic, phonological difficulties and emotional behavioural disorders and ASC.

Louise is an experienced trainer in the UK, Germany, Greece, Malta, Nova Scotia, Singapore, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. She presented Lis’n Tell at the 2007 National Conference of Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) and ran training for SPA in 2016. She has also trained the national teams of Malta and Greece.

She has trained numerous UK Paediatric SLT and school staff teams. In 2009, Louise presented her evaluative Lis’n Tell research, conducted with Brighton Sussex Medical School, at the London SLT Autism SIG. She has since been invited to return to present there in 2011.

Louise teaches Lis’n Tell on the Speech Pathology and Therapy training at Greenwich Medway University. She also taught bespoke Lis’n Tell workshops for MA students in Drama at the University of Canterbury in Kent UK, for several years. Her work there has been credited with inspiring the founding of The Frozen Light Theatre Company, delivering inclusive performances for children with Autism and Complex Communication Needs across the UK. She has also coached Australia’s Sensorium Theatre Company.

Since 2012, Louise has collaborated with Gina Davies in her ground-breaking approach Attention Autism, contributing to stage 3 of the training,’ Taking it to the Next Level ‘. In 2012, Louise was invited to launch a series of workshops for children with ASC at The V&A Museum of Childhood to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, and has also been employed as a trainer by The Museum of London. Schools where SLTs have adopted the Lis’n Tell include ICAN Meath School for children with SLCN; the Step by Step School for children with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC); Treloars College & School for students with Physical Disabilities and Complex Needs; Beacon Hill Academy for Children with Complex and Profound Learning and Communication Difficulties.

From 2003-2004, Louise was hired by The British Institute of Learning Disabilities to act as external Supervisor to Dr Nicola Grove’s training of Adults with Learning Disabilities to become Storytellers (The Open Storytellers Company).

Louise collaborated with a storyteller student to perform at The Edinburgh Fringe in 2009. Their show, ‘It was a Dark and Stormy Night’, was in the Top 5 Hitlist of Children’s Performances that year. Louise has also performed to two thousand children across eight schools in one day, integrating children with Hearing Impairment, Downs Syndrome and Autism into Primary School audiences. She is a mentor and guest teacher at The International School of Storytelling, Emerson College, UK.