Sunday, August 23, 2015

Book Review: Building Bridges through Sensory Integration (Third Edition)

Building Bridges through Sensory Integration (Third Edition) is a book written by occupational therapists, for occupational therapists, parents and carers. It deals primarily with children with Autism spectrum disorders but includes a lot of material on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) as well.

The book is divided into several sections. The first introduces concepts and covers a lot of interesting theory, in particular, there's a great chapter on how the senses work in co-ordination with each other and how conditions, such as autism, can interrupt that processing.

Apart from the early chapters, this is not a book that you can read "cover to cover" as a lot of material feels very repetitive and too detailed when read this way. For example, there's comprehensive coverage of each of the senses with discussion on how each presents as under-active and over-active. There's also coverage of sensory seeking and sensory blocking behaviours in children. This is followed by information on how to reduce (or increase as necessary) sensory input.

This book is best used as a very handy reference for a variety of senses and situations. It's a book that anyone in OT should keep within easy reach.

The later parts of this book cover specific "everyday" situations of under and over stimulation, such as brushing teeth, combing hair, going to noisy or smelly places and dealing with self-stimulating behaviour.

The book also contains many useful diagrams and worksheets  which can be copied to use in specific situations. There are also rules for games, recipes such as edible play dough and lots of ideas for building/collecting the equipment for various play therapies and useful objects such as "fidget bags".

Overall, this is a great reference which is a "must" for occupational therapists. The amount of benefit that general parents will get from the book will depend largely upon the age of your child (the younger, the better) and the degree and variety of sensory issues that your child displays.

Of course, if your child has a diagnosis of SPD, you should just buy the book- you'll need it.

Building Bridges through Sensory Integration (Third Edition) 
Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders 
Ellen Yack BSc, MEd, OT & Paula Aquilla, BSc, OT & Shirley Sutton, BSc, OT
Published by Sensory World 2015.

Building Bridges through Sensory Integration is available as a large format paperback from Sensory World and as either paperback or Kindle e-Book from Amazon. It's easily the most comprehensive references on dealing with under and over stimulation of the senses.

Honesty clause; I was provided with a copy of Building Bridges for review purposes.

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