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As a music, movement and drama teacher for 25 years (1976-2001), Carol observed many out-of-sync preschoolers. To help them become more competent in their work and play, she began to study sensory processing and sensory integration (“SI”) theory. She learned to help identify her young students’ needs and to steer them into early intervention. In writings and workshops, she explains to parents, educators, and other early childhood professionals how sensory issues play out – and provides fun and functional techniques for addressing them at home and school. She is best-known for her book, The Out-of-Sync Child, which has sold almost 700,000 copies. More than 500 sponsors have brought Carol to their communities for presentations, both in the United States and abroad — including Australia, Canada, England, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland, and Singapore. To help families, teachers, and professionals understand SPD in children, she has authored several books, manuals and other publications. For nine years, Carol was Editor-in-Chief of S.I. Focus, a wonderful magazine now called Sensory Focus and available at www.SensoryWorld.com.
“I thought I would be helping a few families and it turned out to be quite helpful not only for families whose kids have strictly sensory issues, but for kids who have a variety of other associated problems. It turns out if you have Down Syndrome or PDD or anxiety, you also have sensory issues. I feel really fortunate to help people…”
“I think the first thing that my book helps do is tell parents that they are right what their gut instinct is telling them. These are healthy beautiful children.”
“I do want parents to know that there is no blame to take for this. That everyone loves their own child more than anything in the world and you are already doing things that is for the child’s benefit. So I want parents to know that they are GOOD parents. And it’s just a neurological issue that makes the child unable to do things that people expect.”
“I am working on a book right now called the Out-of-Sync Child Grows up. I’m collecting stories from teenagers and young adults about growing up with it. I’ve been blown away with their guilt. I had not considered that. I had heard of parents guilt, but then to think of that child has his own guilt. I think it’s important for us who don’t feel guilt to appreciate it in others or for those of us who do feel guilt to know that there are so many friends out there.”
If you are a preteen, teenager, or adult living with SPD and would like to be in Carol’s new book, The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up, please email Carol at email@example.com
“You have to treat the problem, not the symptoms.”
“I’m happy that Pediatric Psychiatrists and social workers who work with young children and families are learning more about sensory issues because now they are so receptive to it. It’s like they didn’t know about it and now they understand it better and can weave some sensory motor activities into their therapy and that is very promising. Any professional in other fields that know about sensory issues can help by weaving sensory motor activities into their work with the child.”
“When people get over their skepticism or resistance and show kids a little equipment or a little bit of activity, it’s going to make a world of a difference.”
“That kind of stretching activity, resistive activity, will calm down a rambunctious group and organize their bodies and get them peaceful and ready to listen to some complicated directions or do a complex art project or move to another room. It’s just amazing how resistive physical input makes the brain available for learning.”
What would be your best advice for a parent whose child just got diagnosed with SPD?
- Keep calm
- Look as this as a blessing
- This is an answer.
- I’ve heard from many many parents that it’s a release that there is something.
- It isn’t the diagnosis that the parents usually get it’s a question or a suggestion, “Do you think your child might have SPD?”
- Find a therapist you can goto to do an assessment. That would be with an OT who practices SI, OT-SI (Occupational Therapy using a Sensory Integration approach). Not all OT’s do practice SI, but those OT’s can still help children with sensory issues. It’s much better to go to the experts in sensory integration. Parents can go to SPD Foundation’s Directory to find an expert in their area. Also Children’s Hospitals often have people who can help
- Get the child assessed.
- Read up on it.
- You will find that just by being more active with purposeful meaningful hands-on body-on experiences you are going to see…THIS IS A PROMISE: you are going to see positive changes very soon.
- Take your child outside away from the gimmicks and electronics. I urgently urge parents when they get that idea that their child has sensory issues take them outside. It’s really important for them to touch natural things, pine cones and grass. These are things that kids might be avoiding and so we don’t want to hurt or annoy or make our children cry. It can be brief at first, but stretch it. They should be active
“If someone else is noticing take this seriously. Someone like a teacher who might not even know what it is, but she knows that your child is out-of-sync in some way. She is looking at your child in relation to a dozen of other kids. That’s how it popped up to me. That’s how I began to notice these children. One on one you wouldn’t really notice. When you see the child in relation to others as a teacher would…even as a grandparent.”
“Grandparents don’t do this so gracefully, but they have a lot of world experience and they might have other grandchildren. They love their grandchild so much and want the best for them. If you are a grandparent and you do suspect something with your grandchild: You have to be careful, but that shouldn’t stop you for saying something. If you are worried, I think you should express your worry in a sympathetic way”
“I know that [the W position] is very bad for the child’s developing skeletal structure. It puts a lot of pressure on knees and hips. Kids sits that way because it provides wider more stable seated position. They need it if they have a problem with their vestibular system which causes them to have poor balance. So the W position gives them stability.”
Do you have final tips or pearls of wisdom to share with our listeners?
- Take frequent notes of your child’s behavior. I don’t want people to wait until the end of the day when they are exhausted. Have a pocket or a fanny pack with paper and a pencil in there… or use your cellphones. Write it down on the spot. Write:
- Where you are
- The child’s behavior
- ask yourself what the trigger might be
- when there is resistance or unhappiness or a meltdown and when there are beautiful smooth moments
- You are going to quickly see patterns emerge.
- I just want people to be detectives, cause they are going to see patterns themselves and further more they are going to have something specific to share with the therapist.
- When you can address some of these triggers, you are going to be amazed with the results of your child.
- If you could only choose 2 websites to obtain all the information needed to succeed, what would they be and why?
- The SPD Foundation and it’s associate the STAR Center. The SPD Foundation is the go-to website. They are dedicated to education, advocacy, public awareness, research, and the worldwide questions about SPD. The STAR Center is where the treatment is done.
- Rachel Schneider’s blog: Coming to My Senses
- SPD Parent Zone
- What book(s) would you recommend for our listeners?
- A. Jean Ayres: SI and the Child
- Lucy Jane Miller: Sensational Kids
- Lindsey Biel, Nancy Peske: Raising a Sensory-Smart Child
- Karen Smith, Karen Gouze: The Sensory-Sensitive Child
- Angie Voss: Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals
- Jennifer McIlwee Myers: Growing Up with Sensory Issues: Insider Tips from a Woman with Autism
“I want our listeners to understand: if you have Autism or Asperger’s, you have SPD. If you SPD that does not mean you have Asperger’s or Autism. Rachel Schneider does not have Autism or Asperger’s. She is a straight SPDer. There is a huge spectrum.”
“Family life is going to get so much better”
- Kay Toomey: Page on our website that has Kay Toomey’s Documents (see bottom of the page)
- Video that Carol wants to go viral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPhZoN4vaj4
- Here is the blog post Carol was talking about: http://growingupgish.com/2014/06/22/sensory-processing-disorder/
Carol Kranowitz email: firstname.lastname@example.org and CarolKranowitz@out-of-sync-child.com