ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards 2010 Parenting Gold Medal Winner
I love this book! This is a treasure trove of smart advice for both new and seasoned parents who want to help their newborns, toddlers and preschoolers feel calm and comfortable in an overstimulating world. Written in a warm, wise, and friendly voice by a parent and occupational therapist team, this book is jam-packed with a comprehensive range of practical suggestions, from to mealtime and bedtime to motor milestones and developmentally appropriate toys. It’s a must-have resource for parents and early childhood professionals!
--Lindsey Biel, OTR/L,coauthor Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues
...Dealing with issues from vaccines, to nursing and from learning second languages to Gymboree, from nannies to daycare, Collins and Olson offer advise that is common sense yet based on a foundation of developmental and behavioral expertise...Jackie with her "Mom tips" and Britt with her "Occupational Therapists tips" have created a partnership that mirrors the partnership OTs should build with parents of infants, toddlers, and preschool children who have special sensory needs. In fact this is a great book for parents of all children, because all children have sensory needs, either respected or not noticed...Most books about sensory processing and sensory processing challenges read more like recipes than prose. But Sensory Parenting was intuitive, honest, and engaging.
-- Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Director of STAR (Sensory Therapies And Research) Center and Executive Director of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation.
Reviewed by Bonnie J Hacker MHS, OTR/L
Sensory Parenting is a welcomed addition to the resource books available for both parents of children with sensory processing disorder and parents who want to use sensory strategies and activities to promote their child’s happiness and optimal development. The book is the result of a partnership between an occupational therapist (Britt) and a mother (Jackie), with a focus on the first three years of a child’s life. Jackie was inspired to reach out and support other parents after working with Britt and finding strategies that were effective in helping her son, diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder and autism. In addition to this book, together they have created a series of Occupational Therapy DVDs for parents of children with special needs.
Chapters are broken down into age groups and include developmental expectations through checklists, discussions regarding sensory experiences relevant to the age, and how to establish a home environment that supports your child’s sensory preferences. Play is discussed throughout with a focus on developmentally appropriate toys and the toys that best support sensory development.
The authors have made every effort to make this book as comprehensive as possible. They have included typical parenting information that would be helpful to any parent, such as potty training and tantrum handling. Britt and Jackie offer numerous practical strategies for everyday life, from decorating baby’s room, to choosing a nanny, to pet selection (yes, depending on your child’s sensory preferences, some pets are better than others). They bring the unique perspective, absent from most parenting books, regarding how these choices have a sensory impact on your child.
Natural and Alternative Therapies
In addition to occupational therapy, they explore natural and alternative therapies, including light therapy, aromatherapy, music therapy and baby massage, that a parent can explore to decrease the severity of their child’s sensory issues. The book includes brief interviews with several therapists and parents, presenting examples of interventions from a variety of viewpoints. The appendices include links to a variety of informative web sites.
Simple Changes for Smooth Sailing
The authors are committed to sharing information that will help make parenting easier and eliminate or reduce unnecessary battles between you and your child. They explain the underlying sensory reasons that may be contributing to your child’s negative behaviors, with ideas for simple changes that can make life smoother and your child happier and more comfortable in their environment.
Valuable to All Parents
While this book grew out of a parent’s experience with her child who presented with a sensory processing disorder, it is valuable for any parent of a young child. The world we live in is increasingly complex and many young children are experiencing too much sensory input before their nervous systems are ready to process it. Most parents are unaware of how sensory inputs may be impacting their child’s behavior and comfort in the world. Do new parents a favor and give them this book.
Bonnie J Hacker MHS, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist with extensive experience working with children with sensory processing disorders. For the past 30 years, Bonnie has been in private practice in the Chapel Hill-Durham area of North Carolina. In 2001, Bonnie began Emerge-A Child’s Place, a state of the art pediatric clinic that provides both occupational and speech therapy.
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