Top positive review
May Not Be Accesible For Extreme SPD At First
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2017
This is Ms. Kranowitz's sequel to her book “The Out-of-Sync Child,” and I purchased it shortly after my son was diagnosed with Sensory Modulation Disorder, rated severe back in 2013. This book has a shorter overview of Sensory Processing Disorder related symptoms and concerns, gives some instructional guidance for working these activities effectively, and then goes on to give some ideas for activities to encourage sensory integration in a child with Sensory Processing issues.
My most honest opinion is that this is a great resource with a few important caveats that are best illustrated by some of the issues we faced as a family. My son, his sensory issues exploded around 13 months when he became too heavy to continue using the snugly chest sling we carried him in as a baby when out sometimes, and were trying to encourage him to do more walking on his own (while he showed some signs of tactile defensiveness, before then, we think the snugly was keeping him calmer and more regulated, so it wasn't until that disappeared that the true scope of his problems became apparent). Often he went into intense fight or flight mode accompanied by hysterics and meltdowns when faced with any tactile issue.
We could never have sat him down at that time to do any of the suggestions in this book and had it be effective in the beginning. Shaving cream, for example, caused him to puke and vomit from both the tactile sense and the smell. So we had to go through a period of trying to desensitize him to it before we could even work him up to trying to paint with it. That looked like two things, one of which was recommended by a developmental specialist at the second clinic he started attending when he was still receiving in home therapy services from them. That was to put it in a bag. Well, he still struggled with that, because of the smell so it didn't go well at first. So I had to find some cool whip and then fruit smelling child bath foam soap that the smell didn't cause puking from and we used that. Then you move up to poking holes in the bag with a toothpick so that a little bit gets on them as they squeeze in the bag.
The second phase was an idea of mine that I was only able to do after I got him willing to tolerate a bath. The bath part was important in case we accidentally went too far and proceeded to vomiting, because at that time, the smell of puke upset him also, and he would continue to vomit until he could no longer smell it. So I had to get super fast at cleaning and containment. Water touching his skin made him freak out, and he would fight and try to get out of the tub. But I noticed he was distracted and visually drawn to bright colors, so I got color tablets to put in the bath, and he became so absorbed in those, I was gradually able to get him used to being in the water, which I initially only put a few inches in the tub until he could tolerate more. Then, I would take the foam soap, but some on him, and wipe it off instantly, before he had time to gag. Once he was tolerating that calmly, I slowly moved him up to longer periods of time. This took months. And then, we were able to proceed to that glorious day where we could actually get him to play in this foam on the table. But still not traditional shaving cream at first because of the smell so far as I remember.
So, if you have a child with extreme reactions and aversions, the items in this book may not be accessible to you right away, and there isn't really guidance for working through those issues so much, which is where a developmental specialist or an occupational therapist with experience in sensory issues can be a great asset. We also did a great deal of research on-line. Ok, I did, my husband was in grad school and this was pretty much all me and I told him what he needed to know most when it was his watch. Also, if you have a child with serious motor planning issues (again, us) and extreme reactions to motion related activities, many of these activities will also be things you will have to work up to. We are just now being able to work in some of these things. She lists the developmental age for each activity, and I think that's important to pay attention to, because that can certainly be different from actual age, and it matters to have activities that are developmentally appropriate.
And knowing where your child is developmentally in specific areas as opposed to the overall average is important. In our house, some of the blowing cotton ball activities, etc. are more difficult, because it requires symbolic play that he doesn't have, no matter what kind of motor skills he's got, so he'd rather just try and eat them.
Bearing those things in mind, I think this can still be a great resource, and as we continue our slow march of the developmental ladder, I am thankful to have this to flip through and target new things to try so that we can continue on our journey towards onward and upward with our little man.
Edit: This is part of a picture, with my little man's face removed, from the day a couple of years ago when I finally knew we had beaten the foam texture. Right after I took this, he climbed up on the table and rolled in it. And because he couldn't get his shirts off at that time, I made sure he was in shirts with fabrics that didn't distress him, he did best with the under armour shirts because they were smoother at that time.