As pediatric therapists, we’re always fielding questions and hearing concerns from friends, family members, acquaintances, and even strangers about sensory issues in kids:
-She hates having her hands messy and melts down during every meal or whenever we try to do a craft with paint or glue.
-He is terrified of climbing – even climbing the stairs is too much for him and he won’t play on the playground at all.
-She makes constant sounds – humming, yelling, singing – all. day. long.
-He is constantly tackling and crashing into objects and people – he’s just so rough all the time!
*This post contains affiliate links. Read more. We received copies of these books from the author, however, we were not otherwise compensated for this post and all thoughts and opinions are our own.
One of our passions is explaining and breaking sensory processing down into terms everyone can understand. And we love when we come across other people who share our passion. Angie Voss, author of Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals and Understanding Your Baby’s Sensory Signals is one of those people.
Voss is a pediatric occupational therapist specializing in sensory integration. She has over 22 years of experience working with children with sensory differences and is the owner and developer of ASensoryLife.com, an absolutely invaluable online resource related to sensory processing and children with sensory needs.
We were honored to receive both of Voss’ books, Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals and Understanding Your Baby’s Sensory Signals to review and were immediately impressed by how comprehensive both books are.
Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals is a simple, practical resource that breaks down over 200 sensory behaviors – the big ones we are so often asked about as therapists and some less common ones too. Understanding Your Baby’s Sensory Signals includes more than 90 sensory behaviors commonly seen in babies and young children.
For each behavior, Voss provides an easy-to-understand explanation for why a child might be exhibiting this behavior and then a bulleted list of ideas to help. Voss refers to these sensory behaviors as Sensory Signals, clues that can help us modify, enhance, or decrease the sensory features of the environment to meet a child’s needs.
The latest edition of Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals includes a bonus section called Sensory in a Nutshell, in which Voss provides an expert, but easy-to-read overview of 15 topics related to sensory processing in children.
Here were our takeaways from Sensory in a Nutshell:
–All children have sensory needs and preferences.
-It’s helpful to look for sensory-related causes for behaviors before assuming that they are “just behaviors”.
-Solutions don’t always have to be complicated, sometimes quick, simple fixes are the best!
-Voss talks about a “back to basics” approach. When in doubt, back up and look for any and all potential underlying causes for behaviors – from sleep to diet and more. Voss lists 10 great “back to basics” tips.
-Naturally incorporating sensory activities into the day is often better than trying to implement a rigid sensory diet.
If you’re a parent trying to get to the bottom of your child or baby’s sensory behaviors or a teacher looking for ideas for how to support children with sensory needs in your classroom, Voss’ books are the perfect place to start. Therapists will also be able to make good use of these resources when providing suggestions and interventions to try with kids who have sensory needs.
We highly recommend Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals and Understanding Your Baby’s Sensory Signals and will be keeping them handy in our library of therapy resources going into this school year and beyond!
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