Sensory Parenting - The Elementary Years: School Years Are Easier When Your Child's Senses Are Happy!


All of us have had a sensory issue at one time or another. Maybe it’s your neighbor’s dog barking that bothers you or you can’t stand the texture of cottage cheese. Does it make you crazy to have a hat on your head? Do you avoid the mall at peak shopping times so you don’t have to be around crowds of people? These are common things that as adults we adapt to or avoid without giving them a second thought. What about your children’s sensory sensitivities? What if you could make ...

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Sensory Parenting - The Elementary Years: School Years Are Easier when Your Child's Senses Are Happy!

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All of us have had a sensory issue at one time or another. Maybe it’s your neighbor’s dog barking that bothers you or you can’t stand the texture of cottage cheese. Does it make you crazy to have a hat on your head? Do you avoid the mall at peak shopping times so you don’t have to be around crowds of people? These are common things that as adults we adapt to or avoid without giving them a second thought. What about your children’s sensory sensitivities? What if you could make parenting easier and more fun by taking your child’s senses into consideration? Imagine the possibilities because you can!

A child’s sensory system affects their ability to learn, play, socialize and function. Maybe a child isn’t able to sit still in class because his shirt tag is bothering him. Or a child isn’t able to play with other children because his balance is off and other kids make him feel unstable and dizzy. Maybe your child isn’t just a picky eater – it could be that his sensory system needs some special guidance and adjusting. And with so much technology and choices of games out there, which ones are beneficial for your children to play?
Britt Collins, M.S., OTR/L and Jackie Linder-Olson – an occupational therapist and parent team – have organized and combined parenting information along with sensory integration methods, tips and solutions. We’ve done our work, now it’s your turn! We’ve made it easy and fun and will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary battles between you and your child. It’s amazing how quickly our children adapt and the little adjustments that can make our days smoother. Who knew that our sensory systems affect every aspect of our lives? We all do now.
Beginning with the age of five, Britt and Jackie walk parents through everyday situations and duties all the way through your child’s elementary years. They explain the underlying reasons beneath your child’s negative behaviors and the often simple fixes (sometimes not so easy, but steps that will lead you towards success). Parenting can be less stressful when you’re not struggling with your child’s sensory systems. A child won’t outgrow auditory processing issues or tactile defensiveness without addressing the child’s needs. Working together, you will find that parenting can be more enjoyable if you address or avoid certain sensory situations or prepare for them accordingly. We’re here to help every step of the way!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935567417
  • Publisher: World Future Horizons
  • Publication date: 10/5/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 472,657
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Britt Collins, MS, OTR, graduated from Colorado State University with a master’s degree in occupational therapy and has practiced in a variety of settings, including sensory-integration clinics, schools, homes, and pediatric hospitals. Jackie Linder Olson is a producer and writer whose son has Sensory Processing Disorder.

Jackie and Britt created an occupational-therapy DVD series for parents, caregivers, and educators, to visually learn the basics of occupational therapy and how to implement it into a child’s daily life. The DVDs include “OT in the Home,” “OT in the School,” “OT for Children with Autism, Special Needs and Typical,” and “Yoga for Children with Special Needs.”

The duo cofounded Special Needs United, with the goals of bringing occupational therapy to families of children with special needs. Britt currently resides in Denver, Colorado, and works at the STAR Center with Dr Lucy J. Miller. Jackie resides in Los Angeles, California. Both can be found touring the country, speaking about the benefits of occupational therapy for children.

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Read an Excerpt


Many, if not most of us, have at least some sensory sensitivity that
affects our ability to function in everyday life. One research study
reports that one in 20 children today has Sensory Processing Disorder
(SPD).1 Another study indicates that one in six children experiences sensory
symptoms that may affect his or her ability to function if everyday
life.2 Even though we offer in-depth information about SPD and related
sensory issues in this book, we’ve really written it for all parents and all
kids. Why? Because each of us has a unique set of sensory experiences
and preferences that shapes the way we experience our world.
If you have already read our previous book, Sensory Parenting: Newborns
to Toddlers, then this first section may be a little review for you.
But, remember—repetition is the key to learning!
Let’s begin by reviewing the eight sensory systems and how they
can affect your child. Then, we will take you through the developmental
stages of your child’s elementary years. We’ll go over red flags to look for
to help you recognize your child’s sensory sensitivities. We will also provide
you with ideas on how to alleviate his or her sensory and behavioral
issues. Finally, we will help guide you through the process of finding an
appropriate therapist or other resource to help you with any worries you
may have. You will also find information about how to work through a
504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) if your child
needs it, and more.
Many of you are becoming “sensory savvy” and are learning all
about the eight sensory systems and how these systems affect each of us
differently. As they say, knowledge is power, and your child will reap the
benefits of your efforts—as will the rest of your family.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . 7
1. The Great Sensory Parent Detective. . . . 11
2. Developmental Milestones. . . . . . . . 37
3. Engagement and Social Relationships . . . . . 49
4. Sensory Needs at Home . . . . . . . . . . . 77
5. Sensory Needs at School. . . . . . . . . . . 93
6. Sensory Needs in the World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
7. Games. . . . . . . . . 143
8. Sensory Seasons and Sensory Holidays . . 155
9. Sensory Activities . . . . . . . . . . 173
10. Sensory Therapies . . . . . . . . . . 193
11. SPD and Special Needs. . . . . . . . . . . 217
In Closing . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Appendix A: Sensory-Friendly Meals and Special Diets. . 229
Appendix B: Pets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Appendix C: A Parent’s Role in Play. . . . . . . . . . 243
Appendix D: Coexisting Conditions . . . . . . . 247
References. . . . . . . . 255
Resources. . . . . . . . . 259
Index . . . . . . . . 263
About the Authors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285

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