Book Review: The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun

Great Therapeutic Activities for Children with Sensory Disorders

Out-of-Sync Child. Credit: Google Books

The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun

Activities for Kids with Sensory Integration Dysfunction

By Carol Stock Kranowitz; 324 pages 

"What can we do at home?" Occupational therapists have been giving parents informal answers to that question for years, providing general ideas or jotting down lists so that the benefits of sensory integration therapy can continue all through the week. The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun functions as a scrapbook for all those ideas, from "finger paint with shaving cream" to "fill a box with rice." Better still, it provides step-by-step instructions for conducting those activities, variations that may suit your child's interests better, advice as to what sensory needs they fill, and information on how they fill them.

The suggestions here come not just from the author and occupational therapists but from parents as well and represent all levels of planning, materials, and mess. If you don't have the time or the patience to lay out a roadway of different tactile materials for your child to walk on, set up a mini-trampoline with pillows for him to jump on, or build a T-stool for balance activities, you can probably find a plastic shopping bag for her to kick around, take him to the side of the house and have him push against a wall, or roll her up in a blanket. Regardless of your level of creativity and ambition, you'll find something here you can do with your child.

All therapeutic benefits aside, just doing something with your child that doesn't involve a television or a minivan is a worthy goal right there. You might even have a little fun yourself.

Pros

  • Helps parents extend the benefits of therapy with do-at-home activities.
  • Information on the benefits of each activity is included.
  • Variations for activities help you fine-tune for your child, or create your own options.
  • Includes contributions from parents and therapists who made up their own games.
  • Games sound fun, therapeutic or not.

Cons

  • Some activities may require more time or materials than you have handy.
  • Some activities can be too intense if done incorrectly.
  • If you have a low tolerance for messiness, some activities may exceed your own comfort level.
  • Your child may want to keep going well after you've tired of playing.

The Bottom Line

Whether you're trying to augment therapy or compensate for the fact that your child's not good at "normal" kid games, this book is full of ideas for play activities that are SAFE—Sensory-motor, Appropriate, Fun and Easy—and tailored to particular sensory needs. Some require a fair degree of imagination but don't panic: You can also just sit your kid atop the dryer and call it therapy.

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