The Calming Story Reimagined

The Calming Story Reimagined


Last year, during the pandemic, one bright spot for students at PEP Prentiss Autism Center was the Superhero Project. This organization interviews young people with serious illnesses and special needs about their superhero alter egos. They ask kids questions about what kind of powers they have, what they look like, and how they make the world a better place. Using their answers, volunteer artists design the characters described by the kids. Once their characters are complete, families receive inspiring posters of their superheroes.

At PEP, we believe in the power of community and are so grateful to the Superhero Project for bringing so much joy to our kids during a difficult year. All the artists and volunteers were phenomenal and made such a wonderful impact on our kids. However, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the contributions of Taryn Cozzy, a Superhero Project volunteer artist whose contributions went well beyond the Superhero Project.

Volunteer Goes Above and Beyond

One day, when she was working with her assigned student for the Superhero Project, he began singing the song and doing the actions from “The Calming Story.” This story, written by PEP Prentiss Occupational Therapist Julie Brizes, allows students to practice a consistent routine of evidence-based, self-calming strategies. The song that goes with the story came a few years later from PEP Prentiss Music Therapist Emily Hampton. When Taryn witnessed the regulating effect “The Calming Story” had on the student she was working with, she volunteered to give it a refresh using her artistic skills.

First, she created a fun poster of “The Calming Story” that teacher-counselors could post in their classrooms or use online. The poster is a simple visual reminder for students who are upset. Taryn also re-made “The Calming Story” book using the updated artistic images. Lastly, she added her visuals to “The Calming Story” music video. Thanks to her efforts, PEP Prentiss staff now have a full complement of materials to teach students effective self-regulating strategies.

Check out the updated versions of all these resources here:


Thank you!

We are grateful to have these resources and want to extend a huge thank you to this special volunteer. Taryn, as you volunteer to highlight our PEP Prentiss Superheroes and take on extra projects to enhance our resources for kids on the autism spectrum, we see you becoming a Superhero yourself. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!