- Spiral-bound: 207 pages
- Publisher: Sensory World; 2nd edition (August 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932565450
- ISBN-13: 978-1932565454
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders Spiral-bound – August 1, 2003
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""This is an excellent resource book that clearly explains sensory systems and sensory integration and how to identify problems in this area for individuals with autism. There are checklists to help identify concerns, and it is full of practical suggestions for activities for specific difficulties, strategies for challenging behaviors, and adaptations in a variety of settings.” --Geneva Centre for Autism
""The how-to book on sensory integration that we have been wishing and waiting for.” --Autism National Committee
“Focusing on children diagnosed with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders, and who experience abnormal sensory processing and impaired motor planning, Building Bridges provides a practical resource for parents, educators, occupational therapists and other professionals. Hundreds of strategies and ready-to-use activities for sensory learning.” --Parentbooks
About the Author
Ellen Yack, B.Sc., M.Ed., O.T., has practiced as an occupational therapist since 1979 and has a Masters Degree in Education. She currently is the Director of Ellen Yack and Associates Paediatric Occupational Therapy Services, a private agency providing occupational therapy services to children, adolescents and their families in Toronto and surrounding areas. Ellen is also the occupational therapy consultant at the Geneva Centre for Autism. Her areas of expertise include sensory integration, autism spectrum disorders, developmental coordination disorder and learning disabilities. Paula Aquilla, B.Sc., O.T., is an occupational therapist. She has worked with adults and children in clinical, educational, home, and community-based settings. She founded the Yes I Can! Integrated Nursery School, Yes I Can! Summer Camp, and the I Love My Baby Program in Toronto and was the director for six years. Paula was also the founding executive director of Giant Steps in Toronto, an innovative program of intensive therapies, academics, and support services for children with autism spectrum disorder. Shirley Sutton B.Sc., O.T., has worked with children and teens with special needs for over 25 years. She currently has a private practice in Collingwood and also works for Children's Therapy Services of Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital in Early Intervention. In addition to being a well known presenter across Canada, Shirley is primarily a clinician, and currently consults for several Community Living Associations and the Achimota Centre for Children with Autism. Her special interests and training include developmental disorders (including autism), sensory integration, and early intervention.
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For parents: This book is written in such a way as to be easily understood. It has some great ideas, and I really love that they put a section in there for making your own therapy supports if you can not afford to buy them from companies who make them. Because I can tell you, they do cost more on average when purchased already made. There is also a section with websites, companies, apps and computer programs that can be useful. The one idea I'm going to personally disagree with is the area where they mentioned being prepared to carry an “Out of Order” sign with you to hang on hand dryers when you are in public restrooms with your child if he/she is sensitive to that sound. And I say this from the perspective of a child who really has a hard time with that noise himself.
I will tell you, I believe in being fearless, I put up with an insane amount of stares, whispers, and sometimes downright judgmental and rude comments when I'm going out and he's struggling, but I always remove him from an environment if I can't get him calmed down quick enough to keep from totally disrupting others, and I believe the best path to avoid angering your fellow community members is being honest. And when he was going through his phase of puking, peeing, anxiety pooping in public and we were working on trying to desensitize him to those environments, I cleaned it all up myself if it happened. I came prepared (I still do, even though we have improved enough that we've not had to do that kind of cleaning in a while now), and I never once put a store employee in the position of having to deal with that. I think this idea can be easily modified to have a sign that says “Autistic Child in Stall...Please use Paper Towels or Wait for Hand Dryer.” I think the vast majority of people would understand that, but hanging your own “Out of Order' sign might cause hard feelings that could make people less likely to work with you should they encounter you in the future. And for me, we're an interesting enough sight when he's struggling that I don't want to engender any more hard feelings then we already do. I know there are people that think we should just leave him at home entirely and that I'm disrupting their experience and not doing him any favors by taking him out and working with him in these environments, but then he'd never be able to acclimate to dealing with these situations, and that would leave him forever stuck at home, which is no true kindness to him indeed. So I say be fearless...but be honest, and I would encourage the authors to reevaluate that particular piece of advice.
I would also encourage you to view these techniques in the light of the authors' statements about them: they “can” help your child. It is important to remember that you can be doing the best you can and everything you can on a very regular basis, and depending on the biology and neurology of your child, you may not see optimal results, or the progress may be really slow, or your child may just flat out hate something no matter how much their sensory imbalance might suggest they'd love it. That would be my kid and weighted vests, or sound blocking headphones, etc. There's actually a list of those things where he's concerned ;) For our son, we've been doing therapeutic interventions for his sensory processing disorder for nearly 4 years now (he's 5) and I can tell you, he's doing *so* much better then he was 4 years ago. But definitely he's not functioning in these areas the same way a neurotypical child would be.
I would also encourage professionals to remember that “can” help part as well. As a parent who has given up pretty much every scrap of free time she has and devoted enormous time and resources to working extensively with our little man, there is nothing more hurtful (or ultimately damaging to the working therapist/parent relationship) then getting the impression that your child's therapist thinks that you aren't really doing the things you should be because your child isn't progressing quickly. Or has even stopped progressing in a certain area.
The best gift you can give your parents is the benefit of the doubt, because you don't really see what they're doing, but when you send the message that you think they may not be doing it, you've not only cut them down, you've inadvertently sent the message that you don't truly understand the extent of the challenges that their child faces. For me, as a parent, I'm willing to work with someone who doesn't believe in me if they're capable of helping my son, because I am willing to blow that off...except for that last bit. Because in order to truly help him, you have to be aware of what his limits could be. I try to be as optimistic as I can be, but I actually really don't have my head buried in the sand. I've looked at his list of conditions, a list which may get even longer thanks to the co-morbidities of Sotos, and I realize that there are a lot of potential futures for our son, and some of them definitely do not lead to higher functioning places.
He's young, I work hard, he works hard- his future is not yet set in stone. He's doing the best he can, and so am I. And chances are, the people you'll be dealing with can say many of the same things. As this is being used as a text in some classes now, I would love to see some special emphasis placed on that “can” part in regards to dealing with parents. Because the reality is you're not just seeing the child in isolation, you're dealing with their family, which is a living, breathing entity with a life of it's own who will work with you I think so much better if every message you send them says “I believe in you and I believe in your child too.” Because the reality is, these methods aren't capable of producing "normal functioning" in every child. I believe the focus should be on their best level of functioning that they're capable of, and that is something that has some limits ultimately set by genetics or other biological factors.
Overall, I think this is a great book, I totally use and have used some of the strategies in it and have found them effective and useful, but would just respectfully ask the authors to consider my above recommendations for future editions.