The Bottom Line
By Tara Delaney, MS, OTR/L; 230 pages. Subtitle: Practical Answers to the Top 250 Questions Parents Ask
I don't know that these are really the top 250 questions parents ask, or whether this all-question format really does service to the material. But Delaney's answers are pretty terrific, clear and understandable and genuinely useful. Because the format scatters the information about, I wouldn't recommend this as your first book on SPD, but if you already know some and want to learn more, it will probably answer questions you have, whether they're among the ones officially asked or not.
- The text is friendly and easy to understand
- The author, an occupational therapist, has great ideas for things to do with your child
- Gives a good description of the many ways SPD can cause problems, at home and school
- Includes information on SPD in everyone from infants to adults
- Format of short sections makes for quick reading
- The questions that proceed those short sections often obscure what they're about
- Due to question format, information is presented in a somewhat scattered manner
- Many of the questions seem contrived to fit the format
- Chapter 1: What Is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Chapter 2: Understanding Sensory Integration
- Chapter 3: Recognizing SPD
Chapter 4: Other Signs and Symptoms
- Chapter 5: Getting a Diagnosis
Chapter 6: Treatment
- Chapter 7: Your Child at Home
Chapter 8: Sensory Integration Strategies
- Chapter 9: School-Based Therapy
Chapter 10: Strategies for School Success
- Chapter 11: Social Situations
Chapter 12: Touchy Topics
- Chapter 13: The Adult Years
Chapter 14: SPD and Other Disorders
- Chapter 15: Special Populations
Chapter 16: Therapeutic Activities
- Chapter 17: Resources
Appendix A: Sample Sensory Diet
Appendix B: Behavior Flowchart
Guide Review - Book Review: The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book
There's a lot that's useful about the format of this compact guidebook to Sensory Processing Disorder. Having waded through plenty of texts with thick forests of big words in long paragraphs and chapters, I can fall in love with a book that's snappy and chopped into friendly small sections. No lengthy case studies or jargon-filled research recaps here -- the focus is relentlessly practical, and thoughtfully addresses parental concerns.
And yet there was one thing that annoyed me greatly, throughout this otherwise useful volume: The darned questions.
The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book is part of a series of question-packed guides from Sourcebooks, so I understand that the 250 queries are a necessary gimmick. But it's hard not to feel that they ruin what would otherwise have been a top-notch resource. Some of the questions are logical inquiries about SPD; some sound like they were contrived to introduce a subject the author wanted to cover; some are needlessly specific, like something sent in to Ann Landers; and some lead the author away from the main subject.
All of them have one thing in common, though: They add nothing useful to the text. Which makes they way they distract and scatter the content all the more frustrating. Plus, the wordiness needed for the questions often makes it harder to tell what the sections are about, making me long for neat little subheads.
It is what it is, though. At least there's an index to help you weave some of the divergent threads together, and the format makes it easy to skim around looking for what you need. I suppose you could think of any randomness and confusion you experience as being a demonstration of what SPD feels like for your child, requiring an extra effort of organization to function completely. Personally, I think they're just a nuisance.