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The Sensory Team Handbook

A hands-on tool to help young people make sense of their senses and take charge of their sensory processing

By Nancy Mucklow

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Reviewer: Allison Martin

The Sensory Team Handbook is a unique book for preteens and teens about sensory integration chock-full of descriptions, suggestions, tips and fun facts designed to involve them in their own sensory integration plan (ie, sensory diet). This is a wonderful addition to any home or office with teens that have sensory integration issues.

Written in teen friendly language - without jargon or complex terms - The Sensory Team Handbook describes the main types of sensory integration issues in a way that teens can discover for themselves just how various sensory integration issues might affect them. After explaining how sensory can affect your brain and body, it covers topics such as gravity, muscles, touch, mouth and hearing and sight. You learn about the senses and the types of issues that can cause difficulty through cross wiring in the brain resulting in over- or under-stimulation. Then you learn about activities you can do (such as hiking, swimming, balance activities) and accommodations (such as headphones) to make your life easier. In the last few chapters these sensory issues are tied into emotions and social life, so prominent in the lives of teens and preteens. The Sensory Team Handbook is fun and easy to read, with cartoons, bullet lists, comics, icons, diagrams, quizzes and more.

The Sensory Team Handbook is a great approach to making sensory integration accessible to a wider audience; as well as teens, parents are likely to enjoy it also. The explanations and models are accessible and fun, and will be very helpful in understanding the concepts of sensory integration dysfunction. While a broader, more refined list of sensory impacts and activities/modifications under each type would be helpful, readers will find provides plenty of ideas to begin their own sensory program. Bottom line, the Sensory Team Handbook provides a whole new way of looking at exercise and other sensory activities, with many ways to incorporate them into the life with older children, teens, and even adults.

I wish there was also a similar book for those with less involved sensory issues. But it is perfect for my son, who has high functioning autism and has faced many of these issues. Therapy just isn't practical anymore, but he can do many of these activities with our family or even by himself. The Sensory Team Handbook would be a great addition to the home, school and professional library.

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