So it’s no secret how much I loved the book The Sensory Child Gets Organized.
After reading it for my review for this site, I had a few questions that I needed to ask the author Carolyn Dalgliesh. I’m so grateful she agreed to the interview:
for the SPD Blogger Network
Question #1: What was the inspiration for writing this book? My inspiration for writing “The Sensory Child Gets Organized” was my own personal experience raising my sensory child and the frustration I felt with the lack of practical resources to help us successfully navigate day-to-day experiences. My goal was to fill the gap between essential clinical support and practical in-home solutions for sensory kids and their families. Teaching parents how to use structure, routines, and visual aids will move them towards better communication and more daily connections with their sensory children – a gift for the whole family.
Question #2: As I was reading this for my kids, I realized how many suggestions could also help me. How do you think these strategies could translate to helping adults with sensory issues become more organized? In almost every family I have worked with (mine included), there is a parent living with their own rigid, anxious, or distracted behaviors and this is why Sensory Organizing is so powerful. The universal tools of structure, routines, and visual aids support all of these challenges. Adults with sensory issues or rigid, anxious, or distracted behaviors will feel supported in the same way if they take the time to: 1) Prioritize their needs here and now; 2) Think about ways they can set-up their environment to tap into their strengths and support their challenges; and 3) Create routines and visual aids around challenging times of day or stressful situations. Everyone feels calmer, safer, and more grounded when they have an environment that supports them and a plan of attack in place.
Question #3: What is the target audience for your book? What do you hope those readers will get out of the book? The target audience for “The Sensory Child Gets Organized” are parents, caregivers, and teachers who are living with, caring for, and educating sensory children ages 3-12. I specifically wanted to help parents support children who are rigid, anxious, or distracted as a result of sensory processing disorder, autism, AD/HD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other sensory-related disorders. Though there are a number of profiles and diagnoses for a “sensory” child in my book, many of the core challenges are similar and, thankfully, Sensory Organizing can provide support for all of these challenges.
Question #4: What recommendations to do you have for getting reluctant family members/teachers/friends on board with these sensory strategies? Convincing family, friends, and teachers about the power of these strategies most often needs to come from a tangible experience. To me, sensory parenting is about Proactive Parenting vs. Reactive Parenting – this means that most of your parenting muscle is flexed before an experience in the preparation, structure, and visual aids that helps your sensory child to be successful. My best suggestion would be to invite family, friends, and teachers to see the power of proactive parenting first hand. Have them offer their thoughts on the most challenging task or time of day for your sensory child. Then come up with a routine with a visual aid that support this challenge that you can share with them. Focus on this one routine, use it consistently, and the challenging task or time of day often gets better. When people experience this first hand, the reluctance usually disappears.
Question # 5: What would you say to a reader who says they can’t do these strategies because they cost money/my house is too small/my kid wouldn’t respond to these changes? The beautiful thing about Sensory Organizing is that it can be very simple (inexpensive) yet very powerful. When I am doing a Sensory Organizing consult with a family, I go through the whole house to see the space as well as hidden pieces of furniture that can be used for a system. I always encourage families to use what they have first to do a trial run of a new strategy before investing in any new supplies. With small homes, pieces have to do double duty – kitchen table becomes a homework station with a portable caddy and the inside of doors and cabinets hold your Central Message Area or the Morning Routine Schedule. Most sensory kids are desperate to feel some sense of control, a sense of what’s coming. Believe it or not, the most powerful changes in challenging behaviors often come from the smallest supports.
I am very grateful to Carolyn for taking the time to answer our questions. This book is a keeper.
If you haven’t entered our giveaway for this book, do so now by clicking HERE. But hurry! Giveaway ends on September 3rd, 2013 at midnight!