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Thursday, July 30, 2015

smart & savvy - book - The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun

This was a really great resource, just like the first book in this series, this book offers tons of great ideas for supporting kids with sensory needs. I felt like this book more than any others I've read this month could be helpful to parents of all children, not just those with sensory needs. It was a great read! So helpful!

Book image from

The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun -
Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder
by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A. 

I love how the author explains that most kids get out-of-sync at times. Out-of-sync refers to being "out of tune, out of place, out of order, out of control, or out of it altogether," (page 2).

On page 4, Kranowitz offers a list of activities that kids do daily that can be impacted by sensory processing and functioning. It is a great list! A few things on the list include:

  • academics
  • attention
  • balance
  • emotional security
  • eye-hand coordination
  • fine motor skills
  • gross motor skills
  • healthy relationships with others
  • muscle tone
  • self-esteem
  • self-regulation
  • social skills
  • speech and language skills
Kranowitz suggested that Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can look very different from child to child, as well as in one child day to day, based on "fatigue, emotional distress, or hunger." (page 5)

"The child who avoids ordinary sensations or seeks excessive stimulation, whose body is uncooperative, whose behavior is difficult, and who doesn't 'fit in' is our out-of-sync child." (page 5)

Kids with SPD find regular activities difficult to do so sometimes they give up or avoid doing those things. (page 10) 

On page 19, a mother was quoted in how she explains to others what SPD is like for her child. "I encourage people to think of a child who needs glasses. If he doesn't wear his glasses, he squints, squirms, tries to get closer to what he needs to see, or quits trying. All of these behaviors caused by a physical thing (lack of correct vision). People don't yell at him 'Quit squinting!' They tell him to put his glasses on." She refers to sensory supports as her son's glasses. 

There is some really helpful information in this book in each chapter, where the author gives suggestions on issues kids may have if they are struggling with specific types of sensory concerns. A few areas of concern and some issues affected are listed below. There are many more in the book. 
  • Vestibular Dysfunction- Movement
    • either overly interested in movement or does not like movement at all 
    • needs to move constantly - rocking, swinging, etc. 
    • likes being upside down 
  • Propioceptive Dysfunction - "The child with inefficient processing of sensations coming from his muscles and joints" (page 88)
    • trouble with balance
    • poor sense of body awareness - clumsy
    • falling and tripping often
    • invade others personal space
    • chew things
  • Visual Dysfunction - Not eyesight, but how the eyes and brain work together with senses. 
    • does not like bright lights
    • trouble looking at blackboard and then shifting gaze to write on paper
    • lose place with reading, can't remember what read
    • trouble with sizing of letters, handwriting, etc.
    • tough sense of direction
  • Auditory Dysfunction- Trouble with noises. 
    • distracted easily by sounds
    • loud noises are worrisome 
  • Poor Oral-Motor Skills - difficulty with the mouth or sensitive to oral tactile. (page 204)
    • difficulty sucking, swallowing, etc. 
    • difficulty with new foods
    • does not like food textures 
    • difficulty crossing the midline
    • poor balance and coordination
    • trouble with eye-hand-coordination
    • trouble focusing and with attention, organizing, etc. 
    • difficulty with transitions 
    • insists on elaborate routines before doing things like sleeping, eating, etc. 
    • tendency to be a bully or bossy 
    • poor self esteem 
  • Poor Bilateral Coordination and Difficulty Crossing the Midline
    • did not crawl or crept as a baby
    • poor body awareness 
    • clumsy
    • trouble making both feet and hands work together
    • poor fine motor skills (using pencils, etc.)
    • have trouble visually tracking a moving object like a ball being thrown toward them 

The end of the book is set up into parts based on various sensory needs and areas in which kids struggle. It offers specific how-to instructions for fun and yet sensory AWESOME activities you can do with your kids. This book is amazing! It's a must-read and honestly must-buy. I intend to purchase this book to keep at home, as it's filled with so many activities that are great for developing sound sensory input for kids that I could never repeat all of it here in this blog review. Check it out yourself! 

A few fun activities I'd love to try from the book include:
  • Shaving Cream Car Wash (page 27) - putting shaving cream into trays and having the child drive cars vertically and horizontally. 
  • Feely Shapes (page 30) - Cook spaghetti and other pastas and ask children to make shapes out of them. You could make designs for them to copy. 
  • Rowboat (page 69) - sitting across from each other and holding hands, moving back and forth. It's good for kids who need heavy movement. 
  • The Shopping Game (page 116) - Having your child go shopping around the room getting items to put into a cart, box, basket, etc. that he is pushing. The pushing helps with movement. 
  • Other movement and heavy pushing activities that are good for kids who are sensory seeking (needing to move!) include: (page 124) 
    • sweeping or mopping
    • carrying laundry baskets
    • wiping table after dinner
    • pushing chairs in
    • pushing grocery cart
    • cleaning windows
    • put large toys away
    • mow the lawn
    • rake the grass
    • pushing a wheelbarrow
    • dig dirt
    • opening doors 
    • filling up trucks with blocks and pushing those 
  • Fence Painting (page 266) - Give child a paint brush and water, paint the fence or deck, wall, etc. It's helpful with gross motor skills and eye-hand coordination, etc. 
  • Clapping Bubbles (page 269) - Clap the bubbles shut, try to get them. It helps with focusing and reaching for items. 
A lot of great activities that are FUN and yet also sensory supportive. I think these are great activities that all parents should try doing with their kids. The ones I listed above don't even come close to explaining all that's in this book. TONS of great ideas in there! 

I highly recommend this book. Before reading this book, I had no idea how much of our body, life, functioning and daily activities are impacted by sensory-related tasks. It's astonishing! 

I hope you find some useful information in this book! 

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