Getting Real With Shadra Bruce
Most parents worry about organization before school starts, but for us, it takes a good month before we can figure out how we can best help our son, who has Asperger’s, which is either aggravated by or in addition to a sensory disorder. Organization is one of the most challenging areas for him. When you combine that with his other major challenge, communication, having tools and solutions in place to help him be successful at school become critical.
In addition to finally hitting the grade where everything “counts” – 9th grade – Parker also started a brand new school this year, as we moved across the country over the summer. At his old school, he had developed very comfortable routines and knew how to navigate his day. Organization was a problem, but most of his teachers were familiar with his challenges and with us, and knew to include us in every aspect of his academic planning.
All new teachers, all new school, all new routines…and Aspergers/sensory difficulties.
The Sensory Child Gets Organized by Carolyn Dalgliesh provides usable and easy to implement solutions for kids who struggle with sensory issues, anxiety, organization challenges, and other issues.
The book covers everything from creating safe spaces in the home for play, study, and living to learning how to travel with the sensory child. The most important sections of the book for me came toward the end. Because my son is 13 and we had late diagnoses for both the sensory disorder and the Aspergers (in part because we were already dealing with a seizure disorder and eye issues) we have already learned to cope with many of the things this book helps parents of younger kids deal with. But there is a treasure of resources Dalgliesh includes at the end – sensory child products for each “zone” that can help, and guidance for parents working to get support of either an IEP or a 504.
The best section, though, was the month-by-month guideline for surviving the school year.
In September, it’s simply a matter of helping them get used to the schedule.
In October, it’s managing all of the paperwork.
But as we enter November, and this is where, for our family, the struggles the school year will present really start revealing themselves (we know by now which teachers are flexible and which are difficult, and which parts of the day are most difficult for our son). November is where Dalgliesh recommends a focus on homework strategies. Following her monthly guide will be very helpful.
If you have a child who struggles with sensory issues or a lack of organization, The Sensory Child Gets Organized is truly a must-have book. It is one you will want to keep handy for quick reference as you discover new things about the challenges your sensory child is facing.
Raising a sensory child is never easy, but this book gives you ideas and tools to help you help your child be more successful.
Read a great interview with the author by Kristen Kemp on Parents.