The Bottom Line
By Polly Godwin Emmons and Liz McKendry Anderson; 175 pages. Subtitle: Learning, Development and Sensory Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, Learning Disabilities and Bipolar Disorder
Rather than a comprehensive look at sensory integration, this mom-written book focuses on the way SI looks in kids with other disabilities. That will be a relief for parents who've read more general SI books and found their own child's sensory problems to be much more twisty and tricky.
- Short and easy to read
- Focuses on sensory integration problems in kids with other special needs
- Authors can speak both as parents and teachers
- Offers good parent-tested strategies
- Contains useful forms for making a student/child portfolio
- Chapter on Asperger syndrome, while good, seems to belong to another book
- Update on authors' children may be less interesting to those who didn't read their first book
- Appendices on activities and therapy options would have been nice expanded into chapters
- Chapter 1: What Is Sensory Integration?
- Chapter 2: What Is Sensory Dysfunction?
- Chapter 3: Concomitant Diagnoses
- Chapter 4: Sensory Dysfunction at School
- Chapter 5: At Home and at School: Looking at Strategies
- Chapter 6: More About Asperger's Syndrome
- Chapter 7: Ellie and Dylan: Ten Years Later
- Appendix 1: Sensory Integration Activities
- Appendix 2: Treatment Options
- Appendix 3: Resources
Guide Review - Book Review: Understanding Sensory Dysfunction
Anyone who reads a lot of parenting books learns quickly that, in any book, there's a) stuff that applies to you and your child; b) stuff that's just interesting whether it applies directly or not; and c) stuff that's just not for you. Even a book that falls predominately into category C may have a handful of really wonderful, helpful bits that make it worth slogging through all those words. Then you get a book like Understanding Sensory Dysfunction, which seems to be two moms' attempt at keeping all the things that are appropriate to children like theirs and ditching the rest, adding in their own experience and things that have worked for them.
That makes for a pretty personalized text, and in many ways that will be strongly of value for parents of kids with multiple special needs. It's good to know what works in a context that includes special education teachers and paraprofessionals and IEPs and specialists and therapists of all stripes. On the other hand, there are a few things in the mix that are maybe too personal -- a chapter on Asperger's that has little specifically to do with SI, or extended reports on the authors' children. Those may be of interest for some readers, and for others, will fall right into category C. I'd like to have seen a longer book from these two authors, with more great strategies and fewer idiosyncratic choices, but there's certainly enough worthwhile content to make it mainly a category A choice for me.