A groundbreaking guide to managing the emotional and behavioral components of your child’s sensory processing challenges
Imagine having the flu, while lying in a bed of ants, listening to heavy metal at high volume, and trying to do calculus. Now consider living in that body all the time. It becomes easy to understand how kids with difficulties processing and controlling sensory information can become avoidant, anxious, impatient, irritable, or oppositional. If you have a child who has a sensory regulation issue, you may find yourself confused or frustrated by their behavior. This book will help you understand your child’s behavior, as well as the root cause of their emotional outbursts, and provides an arsenal of tools to help your child self-regulate.
This book addresses the often-overlooked connection between sensory sensitivity and emotional and behavioral issues, which can often lead to a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an anxiety disorder, or a host of other disorders of childhood. You’ll gain a better understanding of how your child’s sensory sensitivity affects how they feel and act, and also learn powerful sensory regulation skills to help your child manage their emotions and improve relationships with family and friends.
Whether your child has been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder (SPD), ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you’ll find proven-effective tips and strategies for dealing with the sensory sensitivity that drives your child’s emotions and behavior, and discover ways to ease tension in your home caused by your child’s disorganization, oppositional behavior, refusal to eat, disruptive behavior, and anxiety.
Parenting can be challenging even when behavior is predictable and age-appropriate, and when a child has a nervous system that is dysregulated, it is even more so. With this book, you will not only learn to understand your child’s behaviors, but will also learn sensory regulation skills to help your child—and your family as a whole—find some much-needed balance.
“Helping Your Child with Sensory Regulation is a tremendous resource for parents of children whose nervous systems result in behaviors that may be challenging and exasperating. The authors walk readers through relatable examples of how attempts to self-regulate can lead to behaviors that appear odd, mimic psychiatric disorders, or appear willfully defiant, and they provide accessible and effective solutions. All parents will find useful guidance in this practical book.”
—Britt Rathbone, MSSW, LCSW-C, adolescent therapist, and coauthor of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for At-Risk Adolescents, What Works with Teens, and Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions
“This outstanding resource for parents of children with sensory dysregulation represents an extraordinary combination of the authors’ extensive knowledge and their ability to present complex issues in easily understandable language. Engaging clinical vignettes and self-awareness exercises facilitate understanding of how sensory dysregulation might be experienced and observed, and evidence-based principles of behavioral treatments drive presentation of practical and helpful coping strategies to improve parent and child satisfaction with life.”
—Melinda A. Stanley, PhD, distinguished emeritus professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine; and coauthor of a leading textbook, Abnormal Psychology
“This book is a gem! At once both comprehensive and practical, it is filled with pearls of wisdom amassed over decades of clinical experience with children and families. Written by two of the field’s finest clinicians, it is rooted in the best-available science and crafted in a manner that is accessible and relatable for parents. Mouton-Odum and Goldfinger Golomb understand the parent perspective so well, and they write with compassion while delivering sound, solid advice. I look forward to sharing this resource with my own trainees, colleagues, and patients.”
—Tara S. Peris, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute, and program director of the UCLA ABC Partial Hospitalization Program
“Ruth Goldfinger Golomb and Suzanne Mouton-Odum are two of the most experienced and thoughtful therapists in practice. Here, they tear apart the complex emotional and behavioral results of sensory sensitivity, and provide case studies to translate these ideas into real life. Parents seeking help for their child will find practical advice and tools, and the relief of many ‘aha’ moments of self-recognition. Importantly, they’ll also receive the additional, vital gift of workable self-care strategies for themselves.”
—Jennifer Raikes, executive director of The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors; and director of Bad Hair Life, a documentary about living with trichotillomania
“This book is a breath of fresh air for parents who have been struggling to understand how to help their children who have sensory struggles. Not only have the authors provided easy-to-understand explanations of why your child is struggling, they also give step-by-step and easy-to-follow guidance on how to increase your child’s ability to cope and be more functional in the face of their sensory triggers.”
—Litsa Tanner, MS, MFT, cofounder of the Santa Rosa Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and adjunct faculty member at the University of San Francisco
“This book provides welcome guidance for parents whose children have problems regulating their sensory world. The authors cast a bright light on a poorly understood contributor to common family problems, and to many clinical disorders as well. In plain language, readers are helped to understand the nature of these problems, and to develop a practical and scientifically sound plan for helping children manage their uncooperative sensory systems.”
—Charles S. Mansueto, PhD, founder and director of the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, MD—a leading center for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders
About the Authors:
Suzanne Mouton-Odum, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and expert in treating children with anxiety disorders, behavioral disorders, and sensory-based issues since 1995. She holds faculty positions at both Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Houston. She is author of four other books, and director of Psychology Houston, PC in Houston, TX.
Ruth Goldfinger Golomb, LCPC, is a senior clinician, supervisor, and codirector of the training program at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington, where she has worked for more than thirty years. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adults, and has conducted numerous trainings, workshops, and seminars on these topics.
Fred Penzel, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, and executive director of Western Suffolk Psychological Services. He specializes in the cognitive/behavioral treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.