I picked up this book with only a vague understanding of what Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD, actually was. I have a couple of friends whose children have some form of SPD, and as someone who teaches children on a daily basis, I knew I wanted to know more about this disorder. This book did not disappoint. It’s incredibly informative, but it uses stories and copious examples to explain how kids (and adults) with SPD experience the world.
This book is a must-read for anyone who works with kids and any parents who feel that their child is behaving in ways they can’t understand. Written by one of the leading researchers and counselors in this disorder, it talks about several kinds of SPD, which affects about 5% of the population. These kids are unable to process sensory information in a normal manner, so they are either overaffected by sensory information (think the little girl who is startled awake and can’t calm down for the rest of the day) or underaffected (the boy who sleeps through his alarm every morning and is sluggish and apathetic during the day). Some kids have Sensory Seeking Disorder, in which the child can’t get enough stimulation and is constantly roughhousing, screaming, and running, despite all orders to the contrary.
Each of these types of SPD is thoroughly explained, both with technical terms and examples from real life and imaginary children. Dr. Miller describes a typical day in the life of a child with each kind of SPD, and seeing these days side by side with a typically developing child was fascinating. I love hearing about how kids learn and grow, and this book offered me a new perspective into the sensory development of children. Each type of SPD also has a checklist that parents or teachers can use to check if their child has it, along with action steps to help the child self-regulate their responses to sensory stimuli and have a peaceful, productive day.
I love that Sensational Kids is approachable for parents and teachers who may not know all the technical terms for this diagnosis. I love that it provides action steps for each kind of SPD and that it uses tons of examples to get the facts across. I will definitely be reading this book again in the future.
Rating: Re-read Worthy