Sensational kids, written by Dr.Lucy Jane Miller is one of the must-read books if you have a kiddo diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Dr. Miller, with over 40 years of experience, explains the world of sensory kids, along with detailed information on latest research and how we can help our children. Dr. Miller is the founder and director of the STAR center, where children as well as adults with SPD are helped with strategies to cope with SPD and learn to modify their lifestyle to suit their sensory needs.
The book has three parts – The Basics, Living with the Sensational kids and Beyond the basics. The first part, The Basics, starts off with an introduction to SPD, the legacy of Dr. Jean Ayres, Behaviour and SPD, etc. The second chapter, Symptoms and warning signs, talks about the red flags and early warnings of the three sub-types of Sensory Modulation Disorder ( Sensory over-responsivity, sensory under-responsivity and sensory craving), Sensory Discrimination Disorder and the two subtypes of Sensory-based Motor Disorder ( Dyspraxia and Postural disorder). Assessments and diagnosis are covered in the third chapter.
Most children with Autism have Sensory problems and many of them have more than one type of sensory problems, for example, a kiddo may over responsive to touch and under responsive to movement. The part two of the book is my favourite part as it explains the various types and subtypes listed above with real life examples. First we glimpse into the life of Ryan, a typically developing kiddo, from the time he wakes to to his bedtime, as he learns to navigate the various sensory experiences. Then we read about LaTanya, an over-responsive kindergartner, Tam, an under-responsive second grader, Ben, a sensory craving preschooler and Abby, a third grader with Dyspraxia. For each child, we learn how they are facing difficulties with various sensory experiences as well as how we can help them. The tenth chapter, As sensational children grow up, talks about these children as they grow up and planning for future.
The third part of the book, Beyond the basics deals with the science of SPD, the SPD – ADHD connection, sensory issues in Autism, Emotion regulation and SPD, among others.
For each of the sensational kids we meet in the second part of the book, Dr. Miller, explains how we can develop a sensory lifestyle by using A SECRET, which is an acronym for :
Attention, Sensation, Emotion regulation, Culture, Relationships, Environment and Tasks.
Dr. Miller has written a book, “No Longer A Secret”, which explains this process in depth. Watch out for my book review next month, where I will review this book.
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