The book, Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, by Lindsey Biel, M.A.,OTR/L and Nancy Peske with a Foreword by Temple Grandin is Winner of the NAPPA Gold Award and IParenting Media Award. If it counts, this parenting guide is a winner in my book too! First published in 2005, this updated and revised edition came out in 2009. This book is timely and timeless. It should be on the book shelves of all parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapist who love and work with individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
Timely because today’s parents want to be informed and their thirst for knowledge about the sensory issues that challenge their child, hence their entire family, will lead them to seek the best information available. Timeless because Raising a Sensory Smart Child has practical, tried and true information that works now and for years to come. Yes, Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske surely have a winner!
A Resource for Helping a Child with Sensory Processing Issues
Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske form a winning combination. Lindsey is a pediatric occupational therapist based in Manhattan, where she evaluates and treats children, adolescents, and young adults with sensory processing issues, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and other developmental challenges. Nancy is a freelance writer, editor, and has a son diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and developmental delays. How did they connect to write Raising a Sensory Smart Child? Lindsey was the occupational therapist who worked with Nancy’s son and family. Even after Nancy and her family moved, Lindsey and Nancy teamed up again to write this updated and expanded edition.
Throughout the book there are sections set aside where Lindsey, occupational therapist, tells her story and Nancy, the mom of a special needs child, shares hers. Sometimes their stories cross paths. This technique and the use of case studies give an intersting personal element to their book.
What is New in the 2009 Edition of Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues?
Parents, caregivers, and professionals will find even more practical information on Sensory Processing Disorder such as new sections dealing with:
- Eating out
- Going to the doctor
- Handling holidays
- Riding in a car
- Going to amusement and theme parks
A new chapter, Sensory Issues and the Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, to further explain, “…the intense sensory sensitivities, processing problems, and related behavioral and social issues that are all too often part and parcel of having an autism spectrum disorder.” Other new topics:
- Sensory diet activities your entire family can enjoy.
- Sensory diet ideas specifically for teenagers and adults.
- Practical solutions for teens and adults.
- Essential information on weighted wearables.
- Some of the latest scientific research on sensory issues.
- Information about proposed new terminology.
- Additional resources for parents.
The 440 pages are crammed with valuable information well organized in five parts and 17 chapters. Descriptive titles, subtitles, and a comprehensive, 16 page index make this book a go-to resource book to be referred to time and time again. The addition of numerous charts with a grey background breaks up the content to make it more interesting. The charts have titles like:
- Sensory Responsiveness (Hyposensitive, Modulated, Hypersensitive)
- Your Child’s Sensory Portrait
- A Sample Behavior Journal
- Typical Members of the Evaluating Team
- Watch Out for Signs of Sensory Overload
The use of witty titles like, “Taste and Smell: The Yum and Yuck of if All” add humor to this serious topic. Bulleted lists, checklists, and grey note boxes also make for easier reading. The authors seem to leave no stone unturned. An example of the detailed suggestions they have included is in this grey note box:
A Note on Earplugs
Several times we’ve recommended earplugs for various noisy situations. However, your child should not wear earplugs all the time— only when she really needs them. Otherwise, her ears and brain will become used to them and the earplugs will no longer be effective.
I cannot emphasize enough how thorough the authors have been and how easy it is to find the part in the book that deals with a certain topic. For example, this is a section of the Table of Contents and remember you could also use that detailed index:
Chapter 7: Practical Solutions for Everyday Sensory Problems 136
Self-Care Challenges: Grooming, Dressing, Toileting
Clothing, Eyeglasses, and More 145
Meal Time 153
Eating Out 154
Swallowing and Taking Capsules 155
Part Five, entitled Recommended Products and Resources, is 17 pages filled with little treasures they have found! Next you find Lindsey and Nancy’s Fifty Favorite Toys and this is in addition to the Recommended Reading and Resources lists at the end of most chapters.
What does the future hold for your child? No one really knows but to become a sensory smart teen and young adult usually you find sensory smart parents behind them. Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske is one of the tools parents should to have, along with effective therapy, to help their child outgrow their strong reactions to sensory input.
About the Authors
Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist based in Manhattan, where she evaluates and treats children, adolescents, and young adults with sensory processing issues, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, and other developmental challenges.
Lindsey specializes in remediating fine and gross motor delays, visual perceptual skill development, enhancing daily living skills, and improving sensory processing issues. She also helps families and schools to make simple modifications at home and school to enhance a child’s ability to play, learn, and thrive.
Lindsey writes articles for both professional and parenting publications, and is a columnist for Autism Asperger Digest Magazine. She is the co-creator of the Sensory Processing Master Class DVD program. She is a popular speaker, teaching workshops to parents, therapists, doctors, and others on practical solutions for developmental challenges and sensory strategies at home, school, and in the community.
Nancy Peske is a freelance writer, editor, and the co-author of the Cinematherapy series. From her site I learned, “The successful six-book Cinematherapy series has over 340,000 copies in print in all editions including German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Carried in over 125 nontraditional book outlets such as catalogues and gift stores, Cinematherapy became a “cultural phenomenon” according to USA Today.”
Nancy has also co-written and edited several bestselling books in the areas of spirituality, inspiration, health, and psychology. She lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin with her husband and son.
On her site, Nancy says that Raising a Sensory Smart Child went into 10 printings before Penguin Books reissued it in an expanded edition. She now has a site and a blog dedicated to being a sensory smart parent. She ghostwrites, co-writes, edits, and serves as a book doctor and developmental editor.
Dr. Temple Grandin, who wrote the foreword, is Associate Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and is a person with autism. She is the author of Thinking in Pictures, The Way I See It, and other bestselling books. You can find out more about Dr. Grandin on her website.
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