This past fall, our three-year-old son started at a local Montessori school. About a month ago, my husband and I nervously sat in a small chair in his classroom waiting for our very first parent-teacher meeting. It went very well, but his guide did have some concerns about his developmental progress and some of his behavior. It was a tough pill to swallow though not too surprising -- as you might recall, we were just down this road a little less than a year ago.
Fortunately, our son's guide is versed in Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) as she has a child herself who is on the SPD spectrum. She had noticed some similar characteristics in our son and suggested that we look into SPD and see if we recognized any of the characteristics ourselves.
As we stood at the beginning of the SPD path, both my husband and I felt very overwhelmed. Thankfully, because of our son's teacher's experience with the disorder, she was able to point us in the right direction and suggest some highly valuable resources to get us started. I wanted to share them with you today:
1. The Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Resource Center is the first resource we were directed to and it is chock full of information to get you started on understanding what Sensory Processing Disorder is, and also includes a thorough screening checklist to help start you on the path toward determining if there is a need to move forward.
2. OTA the Koomar Center (formerly OTA Watertown) is the preeminent OT practice with a concentrated focus on SPD and SI (Sensory Integration) in the country. Fortunately for us, it's located right in our own backyard!
3. Recommended by OTA the Koomar Center, The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz (M.A.) is a comprehensive guide that thoroughly covers SPD symptoms and challenges as well as other conditions that can be associated with SPD. It is a clinical read that covers every form of SPD as well as therapies to help cope with the disorder.
4. The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz (M.A.) is the companion guide to the book listed above, and includes specific activities and therapies that focus on each form of SPD.
5. Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder by Lucy Jane Miller (Ph.D.) covers much of the same topics as The Out-of Sync Child and even has a forward by Carol Stock Kranowitz, but includes more information on moving forward once you have received a diagnosis.
6. The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It by Anthony T DeBenedet, M.D. and Lawrence J. Cohen (Ph.D.) was recommended to us at a recent evaluation.
7. Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment by Lynne Reeves Griffin (RN) also was recommended to us recently.
Along with the resources above, I also have read and can recommend the following books on behavior and development. While clearly not every child who is spirited or who is a boy raises flags for having SPD, these guides are filled with practical help for the challenges of parenting and guiding children who can be more intense and/or have more intense reactions to things than other children.
9. The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys by Anthony Rao (Ph.D.) and Michelle Seaton
I hope these resources are helpful to you. If you have others to share, please feel free to do so in the comments below.