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The Sensory-Sensitive Child: Practical Solutions for Out-of-Bounds Behavior
In a book likely to transform how parents manage many of their child's daily struggles, Drs. Smith and Gouze explain the central and frequently unrecognized role that sensory processing problems play in a child's emotional and behavioral difficulties. Practicing child psychologists, and themselves parents of children with sensory integration problems, their message is innovative, practical, and, above all, full of hope.
A child with sensory processing problems overreacts or underreacts to sensory experiences most of us take in stride. A busy classroom, new clothes, food smells, sports activities, even hugs can send such a child spinning out of control. The result can be heartbreaking: battles over dressing, bathing, schoolwork, social functions, holidays, and countless other events. In addition, the authors say, many childhood psychiatric disorders may have an unidentified sensory component.
Readers Will Learn:
- The latest scientific knowledge about sensory integration
- How to recognize sensory processing problems in children and evaluate the options for treatment
- How to prevent conflicts by viewing the child's world through a "sensory lens"
- Strategies for handling sensory integration challenges at home, at school, and in twenty-first century kid culture
The result: a happier childhood, a more harmonious family, and a more cooperative classroom. This thoroughly researched, useful, and compassionate guide will help families start on a new path of empowerment and success.
||Karen A. Smith|
||William Morrow Paperbacks|
||May 03, 2005|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 18 reviews|
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Average Customer Review:
( 18 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 60 found the following review helpful:
Extremely helpful book, BUT...Mar 31, 2005
This is a well-researched book that discusses in detail how a child's senses can fall short and "short-circuit", and how this malfunctioning of the senses can be misdiagnosed by clinicians as ADHD or ODD. It gives many helpful tips on how you can help your child thrive at home, in school, with peers, and with your extended family. This is a book that you can keep well into your child's late teens as a reference on how to be your child's best advocate, and how to be the best parent you can be to your child, who has to face unique challenges throughout the rest of his or her life.
I take a star away from my rating because the authors are not clear on whether they endorse occupational therapy as an effective means of dealing with DSI. Granted that this book was born from the personal experiences of both authors, and that both their sons went through occupational therapy, I cannot see clearly their position on the OT treatments needed for DSI.
I understand that both authors are clinical psychologists, i.e., scientists, and that being so, they need to step back and give an objective feedback about certain treatments. So I can appreciate their views on the research that has been done on DSI, its treatments, and the treatments' possible effects on learning.
However, as a parent, I am not looking at rigorous scientific processes, as validating as these are. I want a method or a system of methods that will work with and for my boy, who was diagnosed by a certified OT with DSI.
The authors are right in saying that DSI can be just one of a child's problems, and it would be helpful for both parents and child to consult with a team of professionals, and not just an OT. My son is also working with a therapist who is helping us with behavior modification, such as teaching my son to use words to describe how he feels instead of just lashing out. My son's OT deals with fine-tuning his nervous system, motor skills, and vestibular processing.
The book does give what it promises: practical solutions for meltdowns, tantrums, and unacceptable behavior. What it doesn't give me is the reassurance that the treatment my son is going through is the right one, or that it will work for him. The authors say that their sons improved with OT, but they don't give clear credit to OT as the treatment that helped their sons. In the question-and-answer portion of the book, the only thing I got is the idea that the OT methods used to treat my boy are not related to any study that can demonstrate their effectiveness.
From one mother to another, my question to the authors is: What do YOU think? What is YOUR opinion regarding the effectiveness of OT?
Another issue that boggles me is their statement saying that you can design a sensory diet for your child without consulting an OT. I know that given one stimulus, some children will be hypersensitive to it, others will be hyposensitive, and others, like my son, will erratically go from one reaction to the other. Children will also differ in which sense or senses fail them. I do not regret consulting a professional to guide me in coming up with such a diet for my child. His OT has been incredibly helpful not just in treating his vestibular dysfunction and dyspraxia, but also in helping us understand how this will affect my son's learning (he's in preschool), given his limitations.
All in all, this is a good book. However, it would be better to start off with Carol Kranowitz's book, "The Out-of-Sync Child", which has a clearer stance on the importance and effectiveness of OT.
As for what I think about OT for DSI, I think it has helped my boy considerably. I was fortunate to find a therapist whose son also went to an OT (but for another problem) and is well-versed on DSI. We see his OT more often than his therapist. His OT even helped us find a preschool program with a wonderful, sensory-based curriculum. Four months after he started treatment, my son got into this school and is doing very well academically and socially.
95 of 119 found the following review helpful:
Good ideas but goes overboard...Jan 14, 2006
By Just Another Reader
My 'in-a-nutshell' review of this book is this: it's a good overview of sensory issues and ways in which they can be dealt with, but probably goes to far in its diagnosis/recommendations. The book tends to label nearly every imaginable childhood behavior issue as a symptom of sensory dysfunction, despite the fact that little to no research exists to back up these ideas. I'm not saying that sensory issues don't exist and aren't important, but a child who is not thriving may be struggling with any number of difficulties. The book, for example, suggests that children who are not socializing with their peers likely suffer from sensory overstimulation around other children. Maybe, or maybe they have pragmatic language delays, or social anxiety, or insufficient play schemes that would allow them to interact appropriately. In my opinion, the focus on everything automatically being a sensory issue was too narrow, applying to some children but probably wrong for many others.
Another concern I had was the attitude that the sensory-sensitive child should be treated as so different from other children. According to the book, for example, the active sensory child cannot be punished by having recess taken away, because in doing this the parent/teacher is causing their brain to work improperly. In many cases the reader is told it is unreasonable to expect a child with sensory sensitivities to participate in this activity or that activity (some examples: dressing themselves, playing a game with others, sitting down in a group) because they are incapable of such things. Again, I felt that statements like this were a little on the extreme side given that so little is actually known about such problems. I'm sure that for some children with extreme sensory difficulties this holds true, but I feel that you should look very carefully and think very hard before jumping in and removing these kinds of expectations from a child. There's a difference between being unable to do something and needing to work on it.
Another example...the book stated that all children want to be good and that if they are misbehaving, then something (usually a sensory issue) is getting in their way and stopping them from behaving properly. I tend to disagree with this statement. Are there behaviors that are caused by sensory issues? I say, yes, absolutely! Is every single bad behavior caused by a sensory issue, though? Or do kids sometimes misbehave simply to test limits, get what they want, annoy their siblings? Is bad behavior sometimes simply bad behavior, and should be treated as such?
Again, there is some good information in here. However, I wouldn't recommend this as reading for someone new to the idea of sensory issues, given its more extreme point of view. Read The Out of Sync child, talk to an OT, get some perspective first, then later come back and read this book if you need more info.
10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
These Authors have "been there"Sep 28, 2006
By J. Schuh
This is a fantastic book. My second daughter (now aged 7) has global and verbal dyspraxia (motor planning). We have been to many specialists for diagnosis. We have been in speech therapy since she was 2 1/2. We have had some OT, but not as much as is discussed in this book. We have been searching for ideas and answers, reading books, etc for most of her life. This book is the absolute best I have read for describing "What is it like, being a sensory-sensitive child and also a parent of a sensory-sensitive child. A Child whose world is not near as easy as it is for ordinary children." This book offers insight, relief, excellent advice and reasonable hope that you, as a parent, can make a significant improvement in your child's life. It is also very readable (many of these types of books are hard to finish). Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you, Karen and Karen. Well Done.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Mother of a Sensory KidAug 02, 2006
"Mom of Sensory Kid"
This book is a good primer for parents of kids with sensory processing disorder. Book is organized well and is an easy read. The book describes the characteristics of this disorder in segments which makes it easy to use it as a reference guide. The book does not offer a lot of ideas to help with sensory diet (keeping your kid happy and meeting his/her needs)--for that I recommend, Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Very Informative and Practical Book for Parents!Oct 03, 2005
By Eva Hunter
As an Occupational Therapist who works with children with Sensory Integrative Dysfunction in the schools, I found this book to be very informative with great advice, recommendations and insight. I loved that the authors both have children with the disorder and can offer first-hand advice from their experiences. Additionally, their children (one now a teen and the other a 3rd grader) give insight into their feelings, struggles and successes. This book does not over-promote Occupational Therapy or any other treatment; it is realistic and practical and I will be recommending it to many of the parents of children I work with!
See all 18 customer reviews on Amazon.com
Sensory Interventions was designed primarily to help parents and therapists find appropriate child therapy toys for helping children with Sensory Processing Disorders to develop Sensory Integration and acheive their maximum potential. Sensory Interventions carries many developmental toys which are also useful as Sensory Toys for Autism and Occupational Therapy Toys for Special Needs Children of all exceptionalities. Having had experience as a teacher, a sibling, and a parent of children with special needs, we at Sensory Interventions understand how complicated life can be and how so often, you just need a simple and sensible solution for your child's needs. At Sensory Interventions, we hope that we can provide a helpful and convenient source for one stop shopping and information for those special parents of children with special needs. As you travel down this special path, hand in hand, with your special child, we pray your journey will be "sensational."