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Kids with Sensory Issues Can Be Challenging
My firstborn, Iris, was a sensory-seeker. She was rough and tumble, fearless, and wild. She loved deep pressure. Long before we knew anything about vestibular systems and sensory-seeking kids, we recognized this in Iris and did our best to meet her needs. Chuck used to wrap her up in a giant quilt and prop her in the corner. We called her our baby burrito. Many years later, we realized we were giving her the exact sensation her body was craving.
We’ve learned a lot since our first baby. We have now spent close to twenty years raising kids with special needs. Because of this, I am always on the lookout for resources and I hit the jackpot with these books.
This Beach is Loud by Samantha Cotterill
This beach is loud tells the story of a little boy and father headed to the beach together.
The boy is excited and helps his dad get ready, but when he arrives at the beach he finds it is full of sounds and sensations he wasn’t prepared to handle.
Thankfully, his dad has some great calming tools and the two work through his struggles together. The story ends in success and with hope for the next adventure.
Nope. Never. Not for Me! by Samantha Cotterill
Nope. Never. Not for Me! is a great book for picky eaters. Apollo had a feeding tube for 4 1/2 years. We moved from a baby who couldn’t eat, to a toddler who was tubefed, to a school aged kid who was a picky eater.
A really picky eater.
We had a very long journey to get Apollo to eat food. I would have loved to have had Nope. Never. Not for Me! to read to him.
Eventually the little girl in the book decides to allow her dinosaur to try the broccoli. While this method might seem silly and ineffective, we did something similar with Apollo. For kids with intense anxiety around food, just getting them comfortable is an important part of getting them to accept a new food.
You might remember we used a similar technique with Milton the Mealtime Companion.
I love, love, love how encouraging the mom is when the little girl finally gets up the courage to try the new food. Just look at this moment between parent and child!
Cotterill has also written Can I Play Too? While I haven’t read this one yet, I can only imagine it is as good as This Beach is Too Loud and Nope. Never. Not for Me!
How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder
Unlike the books by Cotterill, this was not specifically written for kids with special needs, but I like it because it tells the story of one child who doesn’t want to dance. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay.
This would also be great for movement ideas on a rainy day.
I Am Not a Fox by Karina Wolf
You might remember a few weeks ago when I reviewed the book I am Not a Fox. I am adding this to the list because I think most kids with sensory (or other) challenges can relate to the fox who doesn’t quite fit in anywhere.
Dad and the Dinosaur
This is one of my favorite books to read to Apollo about anxiety.
“Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner).
With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again.”
I really like how Nicholas and his dad manage to solve the problem together.
So there you have it, friends. The best books I’ve found so far for kids with sensory issues. If you have some suggestions, please leave a comment so I can add them to the list!
Books for Parents of Kids with Sensory Issues