Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals by Angie Voss, OTR

Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals by Angie Voss, OTR

Are you struggling to understand the reasons behind a child’s behavior that might be triggered by sensory challenges?  Special Needs Book Review has a great handbook to recommend to all who care for or work with individuals with sensory processing disorder (SPD). The book we are reviewing today is the second edition to Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals by Angie Voss, OTR. Parents, teachers, and other caregivers will love this 114 page handbook that provides guidance and understanding as to why children do what they do in regards to their sensory needs and sensory differences.

Angie Voss’ simple sensory strategies help ALL children; including SPD, autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, APD, and developmental disabilities. Angie Voss has also written Your Essential Guide to Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder: PLUS : Travelling with a Sensory Kiddo! This guide was written after “Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals” was published to give a more in depth look at sensory processing disorder and sensory integration. Read our review of Your Essential Guide here.

Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals goes hand in hand with Angie Voss’ web site, A Sensory Life.com .  On her web site you can find free printable handouts, sensory how-to videos, sensory tools and equipment ideas and links, as well as sensory ideas on a budget.  This free, credible and usable information is easy to find with her friendly navigation features.

Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals has a new cover and new interior format that includes 210 of the most common sensory signals or cues and practical strategies to respond to the child’s sensory needs right on the spot! Once caregivers know that a behavior is brought on by sensory challenges they can provide Angie Voss’ recommended activities or therapy tools that are safer more acceptable alternatives to get the same sensory input.

How do caregivers find the information they are looking for quickly because Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals does not have an index? This efficiently designed handbook has 10 pages in its Table of Contents!  The table of contents is a quick sensory reference guide providing a list of the sensory signals discussed in the book. There are two signals listed per page.

For example see this excerpt from the Table of Contents:

Prefers Big Squeeze/Bear Hugs ……………………………………………16

Wind Causes Fear……………………………………………………………….16

Dislikes the Feeling of Paper Towels or Paper …………………………..17

Does Not Like Water in the Ears ……………………………………………17

Rubs Hands Together Quickly and Intensely ……………………………18

Afraid of Raindrops ……………………………………………………………18

Showers Are Avoided or Cause Fear ……………………………………..19

Rubs Zippers on Pillows ………………………………………………………19


To retrieve information from Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals , the reader just skims the titles in the Table of Contents describing the sensory difference (“signal”) that a child may be displaying. This signal is your cue that an adaptation, modification, or increase/decrease in sensory input is likely being indicated. Flip to the page indicated and read the  solutions Ms. Voss suggests to deal with this particular sensory signal.

Excerpts 

Page 46 Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals

Thumb Sucking
Sensory Explanation: Thumb sucking is a very primitive way to self-regulate for infants via oral sensory input and proprioception. It can help the child soothe, calm, tolerate the world around them, and avoid sensory overload. Many sensory kiddos suck their thumbs well past 5 years old…for the exact same reasons as when they were infants, but the difference is that now they are interacting and exploring the world on their own, which can be even more challenging. You will likely observe your child thumb sucking in challenging, overwhelming, or new situations…as well as a way to soothe, possibly to fall asleep.
Ideas to Help!
• Transition slowly to other oral sensory tools such as an ARK Grabber® or Camelbak® water bottle.
• Offer bubble mountain on a daily basis.
• Determine other possible triggers of sensory overload such as sound, smells, etc., and offer tools for defensiveness as appropriate.
• Provide a sensory retreat.
• Offer a squish box.
• Encourage deep breathing on a regular basis.
• Provide regular doses of proprioception throughout the day.
• Provide full body deep pressure touch throughout the day.

Bites Fingernails
Sensory Explanation: Biting fingernails provides proprioceptive input to the jaw joints as well as oral sensory input to the mouth and tactile input to the fingers. This often serves as a sensory anchor for the child, and also may be a tool to assist with maintaining ready state, attention to task, or self- regulation. This quite often becomes a habit as well, due to the engram created in the brain, which makes it very difficult to stop.
Ideas to Help!
• Encourage the use of an oral sensory tool such as a Camelbak® water bottle or Chewelry®.
• Offer a fidget toy.
• Provide regular doses of deep pressure touch to the hands and fingers.
• Try Theraputty™, clay, and Play-doh®.
• Offer bubble mountain and other resistive blowing activities such as a harmonica or recorder.
• Take note of when this is done most often. If during schoolwork, try other sensory tools
such as a ball chair. If in the car, be sure to have sensory tools available to replace.

As you can see, anyone struggling to understand sensory signals just needs to open this book, scan the page titles, turn to the page, read the expert advice on what sensory sensation that person is seeking, and follow the sensory solutions to help them cope. Congratulations to Angie Voss, OTR,  for her user-friendly and very beneficial guide book, Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals.

About the Author

Angie Voss, OTR  author of  Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals Angie Voss, OTR is an occupational therapist specializing in sensory integration with over 20 years of experience working with children with sensory differences. Angie’s scope of practice also includes extensive experience as a presenter of sensory workshops for parents as well as sensory training for various organizations and businesses including educators, therapists, physicians, and other medical professionals.

Angie has also been published in S.I. Focus as a featured author. She is currently involved in a national project as a consultant on sensory integration for a music and movement program. Angie transitioned from the private practice setting, to a focus on education and awareness for those living and working with children who are faced with sensory differences and challenges. She is the owner and developer of ASensoryLife.com (previously UnderstandingSPD.com) a comprehensive resource based website intended to work hand in hand with her published books.Your Essential Guide to Understanding Sensory Processing Disorde

READ Also:

Follow Angie Voss:

Buy BOOKS by Angie Voss, OTR

  • Your Essential Guide to Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder: PLUS : Travelling with a Sensory Kiddo! Amazon.com  Amazon.ca 

Please Note:  Angie Voss has awesome Facebook Events:  Sensory Village™ is a FREE monthly online event which takes place within a separate event page on Facebook.  It is a community outreach project she  launched in February 2014. Each month Ms. Voss has scheduled a different guest host, another leader in the sensory community. There are also awesome sensory products given away at each event! You can learn more here on her website about the event and to take a look at the upcoming guest hosts for 2014.

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
Quantcast