Looking for a picture book about Sensory Processing Disorder? Author-mom Hartley Steiner teamed up with illustrator Brandon Fall to publish the children’s book about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) you need. It is delightful, colourful, and full with the information a child needs to know about sensory issues that might affect your child, his sibling, a friend, or a classmate. Congratulations to mom-author Hartley Steiner for the second edition of her picture book, This Is Gabriel Making Sense of School: A Book About Sensory Processing Disorder!
Why do kids need to know about SPD? Each year, the number of kids who receive a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder continues to grow. It is estimated that one in six children has sensory issues severe enough to affect his social, emotional, and academic development. Probably your child has classmates with SPD and these sensitive kids and their parents would dearly love to have friends who understand their needs and can help them get through their days at school.
How is this 2nd Edition different from the first?
Hartley Steiner says on her web site, “This is Gabriel has been completely rewritten, but remains true to its original content by providing straightforward, simple information and definitions of SPD and all of the senses, plus still discusses the challenges our sensory kids face in the classroom while providing simple ways to help them meet their sensory needs. HOWEVER…. Now the story is told by Gabriel himself. Such a cute twist providing children an easier way to connect with our sensory kiddos. Like all of our kids! This version also includes….the 8th sense: Interoception!”
Hartley further explains that Brandon Fall did all of the illustrations for both editions of this book and he is responsible for the entire layout and cover design.
About the Book
Hartley Steiner, a mom of three sons, knows how to write for children. In her book, her young son, Gabriel, explains to his readers what it’s like to have SPD. Gabriel says, “It means my brain doesn’t understand what my senses are telling it, which can be really hard for me—especially at school.”
The text is in a pleasing font with a wide space between paragraphs to help young readers. There is just enough repetition in the text format to encourage young readers by making them know what to expect but it is not too much that it is boring for more capable readers.
Each page starts off with the simple introduction of one of our eight senses and what it does for you. Then Gabriel tells us how that sense is for him, for example, “I don’t like bad smells! Perfume, soaps, lotions, and especially certain foods smell really gross to me. When I smell them, all I can thing about is getting mom’s vanilla candle or the cinnamon she uses to make cookies.”
Then there is the repeated question of each page, “You know what makes it better for me?” Followed by a short paragraph telling readers what WE must do and what HE must do to help him cope with his SPD. For example,” When adults and kids around me don’t wear strong-smelling perfumes, and when I can eat somewhere besides the cafeteria on days when the smells are too much.”
Each page of text is supported by a full page, detailed illustration. The illustrator, Brandon Fall, did an excellent job bringing Gabriel and his classmates to life. The characters are the typical mix of kids one finds in public schools and Steiner’s target audience can relate to her story and characters. Mr. Fall’s colourful, real-to-life drawings with page size characters are perfect for showing during reading circles. The body language of his characters is priceless!
On the last pages of the book, Important Information for Parents, Educators, and Therapists, Hartley Steiner asks for those who work with children who have SPD to help them cope and she lists simple things you can do for the children in your care. Ever the efficient advocate, Ms. Steiner has links to resources where you can find information on SPD.
This Is Gabriel Making Sense of School: A Book About Sensory Processing Disorder by Hartley Steiner should be read in all classrooms from primary to grade 4. Therapists should have this book in their waiting rooms and all public and school libraries should have copies also. Great job Hartley Steiner and Brandon Fall!
Hartley Steiner lives in the Seattle area with her three sons. Hartley is the author of the book Sensational Journeys: 48 Personal Stories of Sensory Processing Disorder, the founder of the SPD Blogger Network , and a contributing writer for the SPD Foundation’s blog, S.I. Focus magazine, and Autism Spectrum Quarterly, among dozens of other Web sites and blogs.
On her new web site, Hartley’s New Life, she writes, “I believe sharing my story and experiences is a way to support families who are struggling down the same special-needs parenting journey I am, because I have relied on other blogs and friendships in the same way.” Follow her on Twitter as @ParentingSPD. When she isn’t writing or dealing with a meltdown, she says she enjoys spending time in the company of other adults–preferably with good food and even better wine.
About the Illustrator
Brandon Fall’s work has appeared in a number of publications and children’s books. His logo design for the animated series, Bunnytown, was featured in the book, Market Smart: The Best in Age and Lifestyle Specific Design. A few of the clients Brandon has had the privilege to work with include: Scholastic Scope, Scholastic, Random House, Harcourt Press, Ambassador International, Sensory World Publishing, Bees Ink Publishing, Los Angeles Public Library, Disney / ABC, Disney Records, Mattel, Jakks Pacific, Boys’ Quest, and Hopscotch. Read about Brandon on his website.
Where to buy:
Buy This Is Gabriel Making Sense of School: A Book About Sensory Processing Disorder from Future Horizons and get 15% off PLUS free delivery in continental USA! Add the coupon code KIDCOMPANIONS when you checkout of the store for discounts!