Archive for sensory issues

sensesColor my Senses: The Sensory Detective Coloring Book by Paula Aquilla BSc, OT, DOMP is a wonderful educational tool for any child to explore all eight of their senses! Factual descriptions are provided with the practical example of waiting for a school bus to help the reader understand how their entire sensory system works. It begins with an explanation of how our sensory system depends on our nervous system and how information is carried throughout the body – to and from the brain.

The book will appeal to children young and old, as it presents options for both. Younger children can activate their senses through the process of coloring while a parent reads the text to them. Older children can easily read the book to themselves, with or without a little help, because the descriptive visuals help boost comprehension. The author has done a wonderful job of illustrating the bigger words that name the various parts of the sensory system. Even the term sensory modulation is described in such a way that will make sense to most children.

Of course, one is never too old to color as the popularity of adult coloring books testify too. The act of coloring itself has the capacity to calm the nervous system and soothe the senses. It’s also a fun and appealing way to learn!

The author, Paula Aquilla, has been an occupational therapist for more than thirty years and her understanding of children with sensory issues is evident.

Color my Senses: The Sensory Detective Coloring Book is published and available in paperback from Future Horizons, as well as Amazon and Goodreads.

Comments (0)

Product review: In-Sync Activity Cards

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Product review: In-Sync Activity Cards: 50 Simple, New Activities to Help Children Develop, Learn, and Grow! by Joye Newman and Carol Kranowitz.


in-sync-activity-cardsWhat a great idea! Remember flash cards that facilitated a quick execution of aptitude? Now we have In-Sync Activity Cards: 50 Simple, New Activities to Help Children Develop, Learn, and Grow! by Joye Newman and Carol Kranowitz.

It’s not a book, although there is a book version available. It’s a deck of fifty easy to implement 5×7-laminated cards that enhance a child’s ability to master developmental skills. Created by Joye Newman and Carol Kranowitz, authors of the highly regarded book, Growing an In-Sync Child: Simple, Fun Activities to Help Every Child Develop, Learn, and Grow! These user-friendly, portable, and easy to share activity cards are based on their book. I see it as a vital addition to the resources that will help any child achieve his or her greatest developmental potential. Each card is a perfect mini lesson plan that parents, teachers and anyone who works with children can use.

All cards are double-sided. One side contains a description of the activity, including the necessary materials. The other side of the card contains information about how the activity addresses a child’s development via sensory, motor and visual skills; how to adapt the activity to your child’s ability; and, how to assess your child’s performance.

The deck is color coded and arranged by levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced activities – that are flexible and adaptable. Starting at the beginner level will help a child experience success and motivate him or her to proceed to the next level.

In addition to being a great guide for the adult, each card includes an illustration that makes a good visual for the child to follow and create understanding from.

These quick activities will get any child moving. Even those who don’t normally engage in gross motor movement, such as typical outdoor amusement and the physical games children tend to play.

What a quick and fun way to help enhance a child’s perceptual, visual and sensory systems without her even knowing it’s therapeutic. In addition, one can customize the activities according to the unique needs of the child to create a meaningful sensory diet that can be delivered in short spurts or longer blocks of time throughout the day.

Aside from their therapeutic usefulness, parents can use these cards on the go. Whether traveling on long trips or short excursions, they make the perfect “let’s take a break” when long waits or boredom are threatening to create havoc.

Kranowitz and Newman were very clever in creating these cards to go along with their book, Growing an In-Sync Child: Simple, Fun Activities to Help Every Child Develop, Learn, and Grow? The activity cards are a great companion that makes it simple for parents and professionals to implement the content within the 240 pages of their book. All of which will have a positive and powerful impact on a child’s development.


Go to Sensory World  and click here to purchase your own set of these In-Sync Activity Cards. AND, you can get a discount when you use the code PARENTCOACH at checkout!


Comments (0)

Dr. Temple Grandin (c)

Dr. Temple Grandin and Carol Stock Kranowitz will be headlining a program slated in Columbus, Ohio Oct. 28 on autism and sensory issues, two of the largest disabilities that are affecting up to one-in-six children in the United States today.

Temple Grandin is one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” serving as an inspiration and role model to thousands of people who are on the autism spectrum or are their caregivers.  She frankly and candidly describes how she faces and overcomes the obstacles involved in being on the autism spectrum, based on her experience and evidence-based research.  Since her first book, Thinking in Pictures, to her newest book, The Loving Push, Temple has been changing people’s perceptions on the autistic brain and how to raise a child on the spectrum so he can become self-sufficient and productive.

Carol Kranowitz is author of the groundbreaking bestseller, The Out-of-Sync Child, celebrated by The New York Times as “the parents’ bible to sensory integration dysfunction “ (no known as Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD.)  In the book, she identified SPD, an extremely common but frequently misdiagnosed problem the can cause the senses of touch, hearing, vision, movement, and more to feel overwhelming.  With her background in music, dance, and drama, Kranowitz brings a joyful but functional approach to integrate sensory-motor activities into everyday life at home and school.  Her newest book, The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up: Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder in the Adolescent and Young Adult Years, deals with young adults’ activities, relationships, and acceptance. She is popular speaker and considered the “go-to” author in the field of sensory issues.

Joining them will be Cara Koscinski, who has her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and is the author of The Special Needs School Survival Guide.  She currently provides occupational therapy services, advocacy, and consultations as The Pocket Occupational Therapist. She specializes in autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, behavior, and social skills training. Cara has appeared on CBS on Anderson Cooper Live and has been published in numerous magazines, including the Autism Asperger’s Digest.

CEUs are offered at the conference.  To register, go to or call 800.489.0727. The venue is the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Rooms D130-132, 400 North Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

Categories : sensory issues
Comments (2)

Book review: The Special Needs School Survival Guide: Handbook for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, & More! by Cara Koscinski

guideGuidebooks are great! They keep you focused and prevent you from losing your way. That’s exactly what The Special Needs School Survival Guise: Handbook for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, & More! by Cara Koscinski does. This book is written from the professional perspective of an Occupational Therapist and the personal perspective of a mom with children on the autism spectrum. It is a wonderful compilation of tactics and techniques for teachers and parents to employ. The book focuses on the ‘in’s and out’s’ of Individual Education Programs (IEPs), working with school personnel and how the various special education diagnoses (identification categories) are interpreted and handled.

The author’s expertise as an Occupational Therapist provides the reader with 185 pages of activities that will help a child be more successful in the school environment. Teacher’s that follow this guidebook will easily meet the needs of their students so they can experience success. It is something teachers will reach for many times throughout their school career. The book is written in Q & A format, which makes it easy to navigate and find what you are looking for. The content presented by the author will also assist any parent in their capacity to be an informed and highly effective advocate.

The vast array of resources listed throughout the book – websites, products, agencies and associations – are all very helpful tools that will provide extra guidance to professionals and parents. This book will empower the reader to truly maximize a student’s potential. Despite the fact that most of the content is addressed to teachers and occupational therapists, this guidebook will enhance understanding for anyone caring for a child on the autism spectrum.

To get your copy of The Special Needs School Survival Guide at a discounted rate, simply click here to get to the Future Horizons website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box upon check out to receive your 15% discount and enjoy!

Comments (0)

sensory issuesThis 151-page journey provides a wonderful glimpse into the world of an individual with sensory issues. We all have sensory issues to some degree or another yet everyone’s experience is different. This difference is what the author, Rachel Schneider, makes clear throughout her book, Making Sense – A Guide to Sensory Issues. When sensory issues challenge a person’s ability to cope with daily life it is called a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Reading this book will certainly enhance the reader’s perspective of what it is like for a person living with SPD.

Making Sense does a great job in showing that everyone with a SPD is unique. You just can’t put all people with sensory issues into the same category. Two individuals may both struggle with their sense of sight yet it will manifest itself differently in each person. The brain of one will interpret the sensory signals differently from all the others.

Schneider takes you down a path that allows you to peek into what it was like for her growing up with SPD. Her shared experiences provide a good baseline for understanding how someone else with sensory issues might be experiencing the world around her. What she does best is encourage parents to go beyond a one-size-fits-all description and tune in to the nuances of the child they have before them.

The author’s writing is witty and her analogies are helpful to get any mind to understand the basics. If you are a visual thinker the comparison of SPD to “audio technicians with a soundboard” they can’t regulate is priceless. Comparing SPD to a “neurological traffic jam” (a term that originated with Dr. Anna Jean Ayres), in Chapter 5 provides the reader with a visual description most anyone can understand. She presents many studies that back up the hypothesis that the brains in individuals with sensory issues are structurally different and often unequipped to handle the incoming traffic.

Any sensory issue is likely to continue across the lifespan, in different degrees at different times. Schneider notes three factors that determines the challenges a person experiences at various stages of life and she includes a very creative visual equation – it may look like algebra but it’s not – to explain this concept.

Like many others in the field, the author advocates for early detection, which can make a huge difference in a person’s progress and self-image. Left undiagnosed, other labels and mental health issues may be acquired that can complicate treatment and stall progress. Despite this, Schneider loaded this book with hope and a list of excellent tools for improving an individual’s sensory experiences.

This book culminates in a great two-page guide for “Putting It All Together”. Here the author presents fifteen of the most current and important things to keep in mind when it comes to understanding sensory issues.


To get your copy of Making Sense – A Guide to Sensory Issues at a discounted rate, simply click here to get to the Sensory World website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box upon check out to receive your 15% discount and enjoy!

Comments (0)