Making Sense: A Guide to Sensory Issues

Making Sense: A Guide to Sensory Issues


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Our senses! Thanks to them, our brains are constantly flooded with information about the world around us. What may surprise you is that we're not all wired the same way, and some of us are unable to understand exactly what we're sensing. People with sensory processing disorder (SPD), a newly identified neurological condition, as well as those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are frequently misunderstood by others when they over- or under-react to sounds, sights, smells, tastes, touch, movement, balance, and feelings within their bodies.

In this guide, mental health counselor, SPD community advocate, and sensory adult Rachel S. Schneider MA MHC helps us to make sense of sensory issues. Whether you're someone with sensory issues, a loved one supporting a sensory person, a professional, or someone that is curious about unusual and complex sensory experiences, this guide will answer your questions about life with sensory processing differences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935567561
Publisher: Sensory Focus
Publication date: 02/15/2016
Pages: 164
Sales rank: 849,122
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rachel S. Schneider, M.A., MHC is passionate about sensory issues and how they affect adults. She has a master’s degree in mental health counseling from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University in New York City, and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Rachel’s graduate work in mental health came about from a life-long struggle to comprehend her own quirky needs and behaviors. She always found herself particularly sensitive to light, sound, and movement, and she frequently felt disconnected from her body and anxious about the world around her. After years of misdiagnosis, she was found to have SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) in 2010 at the age of 27.

Since 2010, Rachel has become an advocate and leader in the adult SPD community. Her blog, Coming to My Senses (, serves as an intimate portrait of life as an adult with sensory issues. Her writing has been featured on the popular health and wellness website Mind Body Green (January 2015, What Everyone Should Know About Sensory Processing Disorder), the global self-acceptance website The Body is Not An Apology (December 2014, 10 Tips to Help Neurotypicals Understand Sensory Processing Disorder), and the society and culture website Everyday Feminism (May 2015, The Neurotypicals’ Guide to Adults with Sensory Processing Disorder). She has also been featured in Sensory Focus Magazine (spring 2014, An Ode to My Handler; winter 2014, A Letter to Myself, Many Years in the Making; spring 2015, Reflections on the Sensory Self), and her writing will appear in the next book by Carol Kranowitz, author of The Out-of-Sync Child series. Rachel blogs for Coming to My Senses and tweets at @coming2mysenses, guest blogs for the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, and leads an online support group for adults with SPD as well as related professionals and family members. She presented on SPD, psychopathology, and psycho-therapeutic techniques at the New York Mental Health Counselors Association’s convention in April 2014 and was interviewed about adulthood SPD on the SPD Parent Zone Podcast in September 2014. She recently teamed up with the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation on the question and answer video project, The Inside View on Sensory Processing Disorder, to help shed light on the daily experience of people with SPD. Rachel lives in New York City with her beloved husband and handler, Josh Erich.

Sharon Heller, PhD is an author, developmental psychologist and consultant for sensory processing disorder and specializes in how poor nutrition, internal and external toxicity, drugs, and cranial/sacral misalignment create sensory processing problems, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems, and on how to heal holistically. She is the bestselling author of Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight. She received her master’s degree from the University of Chicago and PhD from Loyola University of Chicago.

For many years she suffered debilitating sensory defensiveness, head pressure, head fog, poor balance, visual processing problems, weakness, digestive problems and fatigue for which conventional medicine could offer neither diagnosis nor treatment. She was told and assumed that her problems were largely from anxiety. Psychotropic medication had a minor impact in helping to reduce some distress but, suffering side effects she promptly stopped. Something was very wrong but what?

Exploring alternative health therapies, she slowly discovered the causes and treatments for her symptoms. Sequelae from head trauma suffered twenty years earlier drove her neurological symptoms, while Epstein Barr virus, Candida overgrowth, mercury poisoning and adrenal exhaustion drove her physical symptoms, all compounded by unrelenting distress. Neurocranial restructuring, biocranial therapy, magnetic resonance therapy, acupuncture and other alternative therapies, along with a raw food diet, detoxification, yoga, qi gong, and painting (see helped to heal and transform her life. You too can heal!

Table of Contents

Preface – by Dr. Sharon Heller

1. A Quick Confession (or How to Read This Book)

2. Living in a Sensory World

3. The Senses, Demystified

4. Sensory Issues, Clarified

5. The Neurological Traffic Jam

6. Sensory Issues Across the Lifespan

7. Treatment, Tools, and Techniques

8. Sensory Issues in SPD and ASD

9. Putting it All Together

Reference List



About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Digging for information about adults with SPD? Eureka! You’ve struck gold! In this gem of a book, Rachel will gently, wisely, humorously help you unearth and sift through the "bits and pieces, the particularities and the behaviors” of your sensory life. With extrasensory grace gained through her own experiences growing up with SPD, and in her sparkling writing style, she will help you — at last — to understand your sensory issues and how to address them.

- Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA
Author of The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up

Rachel describes her own difficulties with sensory processing problems, and she provides insight into the sensory over-sensitivities that are experienced by many people.

- Temple Grandin, PhD, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain

There is nothing more satisfying than hearing about your problem from someone who has it and is dealing with it well. Rachel is open, interesting and full of good suggestions. By the end of the book, you’ll feel like you just got a new BFF.

- Barbara Sher, MS, OTR, author of Everyday Games for Sensory Processing Disorder

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Making Sense: A Guide to Sensory Issues 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend Making Sense to everyone in the SPD community as well as to professionals who wish to gain a greater perspective on this potentially debilitating condition. Rachel Schneider has written a book that is amazing, insightful and entertaining all at once. To read this book is to see for the first time through the eyes of an SPDer. She gently and adeptly guides us through her SPD world while explaining the many nuances about how the environment can be both friend and foe. As a parent of a grown child who has SPD, I can say that reading this book has brought me even closer to her. Thank you so much, Rachel, for sharing your knowledge with us.
ChitownMama More than 1 year ago
Making Sense is a terrific introduction to folks trying to get their head around just what Sensory Processing Disorder is and how it can affect someone. Written in a straight forward manner but with the humor only Rachel can add (as someone who suffers from SPD herself), I highly recommend this book to anyone new to the sensory community.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book! Very skillfully written in a way that it was easy to grasp the concepts and terminology of SPD. Even by someone breezing through it to better understand a loved one or themselves.Through artfully described metaphors, visualization techniques , and adeptly employed humor by Rachel S.Schneider on her own trials and tribulations of navigating a sensory world, at times it felt more like a novel depicting a very familiar and relatable character we need to love and accept for who they are, ourselves.