Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration review

When my son, Danny was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder over 9 years ago, I was at a loss.  I wasn't entirely sure how to help him, but I was relieved to finally have an answer as to what was happening with him.   As I researched SPD, I started learning why he was having meltdowns and how to help him regulate his senses.

Building Bridges through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and other PDDs

I read every article and book I could get my hands on, one of which included Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and
Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders by Ellen Yack, Paula Aquilla and Shirley Sutton.  I loved this book because it explained sensory integration in great detail. It was my go-to handbook on all things sensory related.

Now, they have published a new edition and it's even better than ever!  Building Bridges gives great, easy to read information about what sensory issues are and how to identify whether your child has them.  There is a comprehensive checklist to ascertain what sensory areas your child might have difficulties with. The authors explain that your child could be hyper (over) responsive or hypo (under) responsive, and they provide questions for each category.

My favorite aspect of the book is that there are several chapters on strategies to help kids with sensory needs. As a parent, that was always what I was looking for in the books I read: real-life ideas that I could use at home or that we could implement at school.  This book doesn't disappoint.

The chapter called "Strategies for Challenging Behavior" should be required reading for all teachers.  The chapter outlines different relaxation techniques, as well as information about sensory diets, calming and alerting strategies, and strategies for specific behavior issues.  For example, the authors explain why a child might bite others and what teachers or parents can do to help minimize that behavior.  Other behaviors they target include: running, spinning, or movement seeking, crashing, bumping, and clinging, hitting, slapping, pinching, etc.

Other chapters include information on teaching self-care skills and adapting home, school and childcare settings.  Chapter 8 is a phenomenal resource, as it is chock full of activity suggestions that target the different senses.  Tactile activities include recipes for salt dough, drizzle goo, and super simple sparkle chalk, for example.  This chapter even includes cut-out cards with different physical activity ideas.  They can be printed up to be used at home.

Along with these printable cards, there is a link that you can access to print up the activity cards, sensory checklists, home and school communication sheets, and many other very valuable printables.

I highly recommend Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders for anyone who has, or works with, a child with sensory needs. 

Go to Future Horizons to order it now!