Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Integration Issues

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For children with sensory integration issues-those who have difficulty processing everyday sensations and exhibit unusual behaviors such as avoiding or seeking out touch, movement, sounds, and sights-this groundbreaking book is an invaluable resource. Long thought to affect only autistic children, or mistaken for ADHD, SI dysfunction is finally being recognized as a separate condition. Coauthored by a pediatric occupational therapist and a parent of a child with SI dysfunction, Raising a Sensory Smart Child is as warm and accessible as it is authoritative and detailed and is an indispensable guide for parents, therapists, and teachers who will turn to it again and again.

Customer Reviews:

  • A Must Have
    This is an excellent book and a must have for any parent or teacher dealing with kids with sensory issues. It's easy to read as a parent, easy to find the info you are looking for. It's got a ton of ideas in it for practical things to do with your child. It really is 'The **Definitive Handbook for helping your child with sensory integration issues!' ...more info
  • essential
    Beautifully written, this book is an absolute must for people who see sensory overload issues in their children. I enjoyed it because i had those issues growing up that manifested themselves in my 20s. I read it for insights into myself. a truly well-written, well-researched, terrific book....more info
  • therapist
    This is one of 2 great books on the market for sensory integration issues (SI). While the Out of Sync Child deals mostly with what SI is, this book offers help directly to the parent with what they face daily and provides a breif intro to what SI is. This book is chalked full of helpful resources from where to find SI products, to help with IEPs,on line support groups and how to help a teen with SI issues. This is a well rounded book that is more useful for younger kids' parents but would be an asset for those with older kids as well.
    I've never written a review before but this book really impressed me to do so because it is such an important contribution to the literature available for SI....more info
  • great book!!
    This is the best book that I have read on the subject of sensory integration disorder. It is very user friendly and provides many suggestions for incorporating sensory activities into the day, both at home and at school....more info
  • book review
    This book was fascinating! I am finding out all kinds of valuable info! Highly recommended!...more info
  • excellent resource
    This is a great book for parents who have no idea how to deal with their child's issues. We were clueless and frustrated and now we can actually enjoy family time and day to day activities. It also helped relieve a lot of guilt knowing we are not at fault but there are many things we can to to help our son cope. I would definitely recommend this book to parents and teachers....more info
  • The best I have read...
    With my son's recent diagnosis of sensory problems, I have really been accumulating a library of books on the subject. This books is BY FAR my favorite... I am only half-way through it and have already dog-eared half of the pages I have read. It is packed with practical suggestions/solutions on how to help your sensory child cope with everyday life. If you are only going to buy one book, this should be it....more info
  • Great reference for anyone dealing with a child with SPD
    I'm a mental health therapist as well as a parent of a child with SPD. This is my favorite book both for myself and the parents of my SPD clients. This book is great for family members of kids with SPD, without additional disorders.

    Generally, the book that is most recommended is The Out of Sync Child, which is a wonderful book. However, the Out of Sync Child is geared more toward SPD kids with more severe disorders (autism, Asperger's Disorders, etc). Raising a Sensory Smart Child is a perfect reference for children with SPD without accompanying disorders. It provides answers and guidance for for families who have been wondering "what's wrong" for a long time. I'd recommend this book not only for parents, but for teachers, therapists, as well as grandparents, daycare providers and anyone dealing with SPD kids. Truly an educational read....more info
  • Great lesson
    I thought this was a great book. It was well organized, detailed and very informative. I would highly recommend it for anyone who would like to better understand sensory issues. ...more info
  • Psychologist highly recommends
    I highly recommend this comprehensive and detailed guide to helping children with sensory issues. With authorship shared by an occupational therapist and the mother of son with sensory issues, it is chock full of helpful insights and tips from both a therapeutic and a parental perspective.

    This book goes into more detail than most, is very up to date, and includes numerous resources for appropriate toys, products, and additional websites.

    This is a very useful book for parents of any child who has been formally diagnosed with sensory issues or sensory integration disorder, but also for those parents who simply notice that their children are sometimes overwhelmed by their internal states or environmental stimuli.

    Chapters include descriptions of the seven senses, how to tune in to your child, working with occupational therapists, handling developmental delays, improving speech, picky eating, learning and getting organized, nutrition, sleep, stress, discipline, tantrums and more!

    There are also great sections on advocating for your child at school and helping your teenager with sensory issues.
    ...more info
  • Wonderful Help for working with my SID Child!
    I really have enjoyed this book and keep it close by to refer to often. It is written very clear and gave me an even better understanding of where my daughter is coming from with her sensory intake and needs.
    Thanks so much to the authors of this book!...more info
  • Best book going.
    I am also an Occupational Therapist. I bought this book and now recommend it to all of my parents who come to me for help with thier children's sensory problems. It is a wonderful resource for parents and people who want to know what sensory processing is, what to do about it and what to do about all of the other problems the kids have because of their sensory issues. It is a must buy....more info
  • Coping parent
    After reading multiple books on SPD, I found this one the most helpful in everyday life. Out of Sync Child was great for an explanation, as is this book, but Raising.... takes the explanation and provides everyday senarios for coping. I don't recommend it's use for diagnosis -- obviously seek professional guidance -- but for those of us with kids and the diagnosis of SPD, this book provides empathy, understanding, as well as the much needed coping strategies for helping parents feel "normal" in their "amazingly unpredictable" lives....more info
  • We've been to a neuropsychologist
    I've never left a review before, but wanted to do so after reading another review that basically called sensory integration disorder a made-up quack diagnosis. I have taken my 4 year old to a pediatric neurologist, a pediatric neuropsychologist, and 2 occupational therapists. ALL of them diagnosed him with sensory integation disorder. This is a real condition, and needs to be addressed and treated. After 5 months in OT, we are seeing huge improvements. Experts do diagnose SID, and OT does work. There is little out there in terms of reading resources, and I'm happy to have any information. After 3 years of thinking my son was a bit quirky, it's a blessing to read that he is not alone....more info
  • Excellent Resource for Parents and Therapists!!
    This is a great resource, written in parent friendly terms by a parent and an OT! Lots of great ideas for treatment and everyday living with a child with sensory issues. This is much better than the Out of Sync Child especially since it is written by a mom and an OT together- the best to talk about the subject. I have referred it to many of my clients and friends and it has been helpful to all!!...more info
  • Raising A Sensory Smart Child
    "Raising A Sensory Smart Child" is a 'must have' reference for anyone involved with a child experiencing sensory integration issues. The author effectively de-mystifies a difficult subject and helps the reader feel comfortable with both understanding and being able to competently deal with these very involved issues. It is a refreshingly pragmatic and therefore highly useful review of the various aspects of S.I. leaving the parent, educator &/or provider feeling enpowered in this poorly understood and sometimes controversial area. ...more info
  • A terrific resource for parents.
    Even if you have read one or two other books on sensory integration you will find this book helpful. It delves into topics that parents care about like self-care (such as dressing, tooth brushing, and eating) and socializing (such as parties, crowds, noise), providing suggestions for making these situations easier. Many other important aspects of parenting a child with sensory integration are addressed, such as coping with tantrums, rigidity, and overload. As the parent of a child with SI (Childrensdisabilities.info) I would recommend this book to any parent who has a child with any level of sensory integration problems, but especially to those whose children are struggling in their daily lives....more info
  • Parents should enlist critical thinking
    The plethora of "experts" in child pathology is troublesome; seems like everyone's trying to make a buck from desperate parents. Parents need to consider how expert the "expert" really is. They also need to consider that there is no evidence of "sensory integration disorder." Slapping pop OT labels on problems doesn't aid our understanding; rather, it detracts from it.

    My recommendation for parents is to have your child assessed by a real expert: a pediatric neuropsychologist. These doctors are the real deal, and can give you an eval of all the systems (not just one) and how they are integrated and affect each other. Don't spin your wheels on theories and popular ideas: Get yourself to a real expert....more info
  • Great tool for parents!
    This book is a great tool for understanding your child if they have SID....more info
  • This book rocks!
    Authors Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske have done a bang-up job in explaining to the 'everyday man' the vast and far-reaching effects of sensory challenges. As our world gets faster, louder, more crowded and stress-laden, it's not just kids with disabilities who experience sensory issues. It's all kids, to some extent or another. Take that one step further: all people. Yet many know little about sensory dysfunction and how much it can compromise learning and functioning on a daily basis.

    As a writer/editor in the field of autism/Asperger's, I've read many a book about sensory integration. What makes this one stand out is the clear, conversational tone coupled with page after page of practical, helpful information. The authors explain sensory integration (yes, the SEVEN senses!), describe how to recognize it in your child (or yourself!), tell you about the professionals in the field, then go on to detail tons of everyday solutions that can make a difference in the life of your child or student. The all-important topics of nutrition, stress, sleep, and behavior issues are given their due; there's even resources for toys and equipment included.

    Destined to become your 'bible' of sensory integration!

    ...more info
  • Good Shower present
    The title may be intimidating to some of you. But this book is highly recommended for EVERY parent. Every kid is a little "goofy" at times, sometimes amazingly so. This book explains how and why kids act "goofy"....more info
  • Laura Knight, MPT, Advance for Physical Therapists
    What does sensory integration (SI) dysfunction feel like? Authors Lindsey Biel, MA, OTR/L, and Nancy Peske, parent of a child with SI dysfunction, ask the reader to imagine how an adult with SI dysfunction might feel while preparing a spaghetti dinner in her own kitchen.

    "The fluorescent light gives you a headache, and you can't find the tomato sauce in your crowded pantry. The lettuce in your hands feels slimy and repulsive. The smell of garlic makes you queasy. You don't hear the boiling water on the stove, and it bubbles over, flooding your pilot light so the stove won't relight. You bump your head on a cabinet, trip over the cat, and spill the salad. By the time dinner is on the table, you're a nervous wreck and you've yelled at everyone. All you want to do is crawl into bed and sleep. What if you were to experience this disastrous dinner scenario every night, and nobody seemed to understand? After all, everyone else is able to see the can on the shelf and the cat on the floor, so why can't you? Strong smells don't upset them and flickering, harsh lights don't give them headaches." (p.15)

    Through vivid illustrations like this, Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Integration Issues continually reminds readers that children with SI dysfunction do not experience the world as we do. They need their parents' help to learn how to self-regulate, adapt and overcome. The evaluation and treatment of Peske's son, as seen through the eyes of parent and therapist, demonstrate key points and provide continuity throughout the book.

    Biel and Peske explain the sophisticated reasoning of occupational therapists - what may look like "play" to a parent is actually a well-planned response to minute-by-minute observations performed by a skilled practitioner.

    Sensory Smart's most helpful aspect is teaching parents how to be better observers and analyzers of behavior. The book abounds with checklists-from signs of sensory overload to self-help, cognitive and self-regulation benchmarks.

    Chapter seven, "Practical Solutions for Everyday Sensory Problems," offers effective suggestions for problematic activities familiar to pediatric therapists-hair washing, bathing, mealtimes, parties and more. Websites and toll-free numbers are included in the text for immediate use and are repeated in an appendix for handy reference.

    After reading this book, parents will be able to take advantage of everyday opportunities to address specific SI challenges. The authors are constantly optimistic and encouraging about potential - the potential of parents and children to develop sensory smarts, and the potential of children to become happy, productive adults. At the same time, Biel and Peske are realistic about human nature. Parents won't be discouraged if they can't provide the optimum environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    What could the authors have done better? There are few charts, illustrations and photos, making this a very text-heavy read. A greater variety of font sizes and types, and more bullets, charts and photos would break things up visually, especially important for busy parents. I would also recommend repeating all the checklists in a single appendix.

    One last point: Biel and Peske offer sound advice for choosing a therapist (p. 104), counsel that serves as a wonderful reminder and pick-me-up to pediatric therapists: "Good technique and good intentions are crucial, but they are inadequate in and of themselves. Find someone who is very skilled and who will also love your child and create a safe, warm environment in which your child can express himself and flourish. Because only a therapist - or any caregiver for that matter - with an open, loving heart and a good eye and ear for spoken and unspoken needs will really be able to help."

    Laura Knight is a pediatric physical therapist with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in Spartanburg, SC....more info
  • Very, Very Helpful tool for parents
    As an OT with a child having sensory integration issues, I though this book was excellent for reading and giving practical solutions. I have started to refer this book to parents instead of the "OUT OF SYNC CHILD" because I found it to be easier to understand, not as technical, and gives very practical solutions for everyday dilemmas. Although I use "The Out of Sync Child" for my own reference, parents give me feedback that it was too scary for them and that all of it did not apply to them. Education is the best way to deal with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) and this book helps to educate a parent!...more info
  • Sensory questions--buy this book!
    I just finished reading this book and found it to be wonderful. I have been an occupational therapist for 21 years working with children with these type of issues. I also have a child myself that has sensory defensiveness. I found this book to be a great resource--I would recommend it for therapists and parents!...more info
  • This book is SOOO helpful!
    I'm on my second time through this book. It has a very balanced approach to sensory integration disorder. There are personal stories, clinical (yet easy to understand) explanations, helpful resources and products, activity ideas, and even what to say to "well-meaning" friends, relatives and strangers. I'm getting tremendous insight into our daughters' problems....more info
  • The best and most practical guide for anyone who wants to understand and help a child with sensory integration!!!
    I am a mother of a sensory child. This book changed my life, and it is an essential resource for anyone who wants to learn or help a child with sensory integration. It is my "Bible".

    Unlike most books on sensory integration, it was written by a mother Nancy Peske, and an OT, Lindsey Biel, who understand what it is like to have and raise and treat a sensory child. It is easy to read and understand and begins by telling a story of Nancy Peske's own personal experiences with her own child to explain what it is like to have a sensory child, and to accept that you have a sensory child and how to help your sensory child.

    This wonderful book provides practical solutions for everyday living. This book truly helps you to understand what sensory issues are, and what the technical language means (in easy to understand explanations and examples).

    This book is the best I have ever read with respect to providing specific techniques you can use to help your sensory child to eat, play, sleep and learn efficiently, to focus, to pay attention, to organize, to self-regulate and so much more.

    This book also tells you what you can do as a parent to help advocate for your child. It provides the steps for evaluation, and the types of therapies which are available at home and what to expect when you work with an OT. The book also contains information on how to set up an IEP or a 504 plan for your child and how to get the services you need to help your child.

    This book is extremely practical and what I like the best about it, is that is written like a handbook, so that if you already are familiar with sensory integration, you can read any chapter without having to read the entire book to find the resources that you need. The book provides plenty of links to current research and valuable sources of information in books, videos, DVDs and online, which have made such a huge difference in my life and my son's life!

    I have read all the books and research on the internet out there on sensory integration and this book is definitely the best. I recommend it to any parent, teacher, caregiver, OT or friend who wants to help understand and/or successfully treat a child with sensory integration.

    I highly recommend that you also read the Out of Sync Child, and the Out of Sync Child Has Fun, by Carol Stock Kranowitz which are also essential resources on sensory integration....more info
  • Excellent Resource!
    I am an occupational therapist and this book by far is the best resource for strategies to help all aspects of daily life impacted by difficulties with sensory processing. It has been an excellent source of knowledge for myself as well as for the families I work with. I have recommended it to many of my families. ...more info
  • Good Information
    An excellent, practical resource, in addition to "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun". More practical information for the parent, more ideas to try for your particular child's needs and situations. The type of things you would ask and receive answers from another mom who has "been through it" with their child with sensory integration issues....more info