Of course, the #1 SPD Resource I always recommend is going to the SPD Foundation's Website. They are the portal to almost all things sensory including research, therapy, assessment and more. These are all the wonderful places out there you can add to your SPD Favorites list after that.
As always, if you have anything to share, please contact us through the site.
S.I. FOCUS MAGAZINE: S.I. Focus magazine was one of the first resources I found--pretty soon after Carol Stock Kranowitz's book, The Out Of Sync Child. Kathleen Morris, the Founder/Publisher/Managing Editor of S.I. Focus, brings together information from many sources we caregivers are seeking: occupational therapy suggestions, the best 'sensational' products and books out there, as well as tips about nutrition, family, having fun, and helping teachers set up sensory-friendly classrooms. The magazine goes out four times a year, with the Autumn addition available now!
This award-winning magazine is for caregivers, therapists, teachers, friends, relatives or those who just want to know more about SPD and Sensory Integration. The moment you turn over the cover you can tell that Kathleen takes great care, and does a tremendous amount of research, in shedding light on some of the issues we face raising these amazing kids. Since reading my first issue about four years ago, I've made sure to help spread the word about it as I feel it's such a valuable resource all 'sensational' parents should have access to. And now S.I. Focus is about to get even better!
Kathleen wants everyone to know that after seven years of being the top, and only, magazine to focus on SPD and sensory issues, she is now putting the magazine out in digital format! What does this mean? It means a bigger, better and more beautiful publication:
- Larger magazine
- More articles = more information
- Faster delivery (especially for international readers)
- Audio and video capabilities
- Future webinar capabilities
- Accessible on electronic devices (iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, etc)
- Spanish translation available in the near future
- Easier access to resources and advertisers
- Better, more secure ordering using PayPal
- Beautiful, page-turning software for exceptional viewing
I want to take the time to thank Kathleen Morris for putting this magazine together for 'sensational' caregivers. It is a much-needed resource and I'm proud to help get it into the hands of as many people as I can. This magazine came out just after we realized Jaimie was having difficulties. So many of my questions and concerns, as well as guidance to other resources and OTs, would have been answered if I'd had access to S.I. Focus and the SPD Foundation. But today 'sensational' caregivers have so many wonderful sources of information at their fingertips. And that's fantastic! Get a subscription for YOU or another 'sensational' caregiver on your Christmas list. =)
(Thank you, Kathleen! Please know how very much we appreciate all that you're doing!)
Sensory Planet: I was introduced to an absolutely phenomenal website called, "Sensory Planet." It was founded by a wonderful woman, Carrie Fannin, who understands what it's like to have a child with SPD. Carrie and Erica Ascher along with a few other passionate sensory moms run this online resource to bring together families, therapists, doctors and other people from all over the world to one place where information, tips and advice can be exchange. It's like I always say, we aren't alone on islands anymore wondering if there are other kids like ours or other families going through the same things...we're all creating bridges among ourselves where we can unite and be there for one another--even if it can only be a cyber hug.
Here's everything about Sensory Planet right from their page: "Our goal is to bring a positive, purposeful and valuable social network community to those whose lives are affected by Sensory Processing Disorder.
We're also committed to help raise funds for much needed research. By becoming a Sensory Planet Subscriber, you become part of the solution. A portion of your membership fee will be donated to support future research and awareness of SPD around the world. Just think about this: You can become part of an international effort to make a difference in SPD and the children and families it affects. Together, we can make a difference!
Parents, Families, Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Neurologists, Educators, Mental Health Professionals, Pediatricians and others will be able to benefit by sharing their successes or learning from the challenges of others. By building a network that brings all of these resources together we will greatly strengthen understanding on an individual level as well as a community level: Sensory Planet - One Puzzle, Many Pieces. Come explore our planet!"
If you're out there...feeling alone...needing to be surrounded by people who truly understand, who want to help, who "get it" please stop by and check this site out. It's good to know phenomenally "sensory moms and dads" are out there offering such fantastic resources. I only wish we'd had places like this when we first found out about Jaimie's struggles. But it's here for us today and that's all that matters.
God Bless these brave and caring women and their tireless efforts.
SENSORY SMART PARENT: Nancy Peske, co-author of the awarding winning book, "Raising A Sensory Smart Child," now has her own Website called, Sensory Smart Planet.com. Nancy focuses on reaching out to caregivers of children with SPD. The Site offers resource suggestions, general information about SPD, tips on parenting a child with SPD and so much more. This is an essential and much-needed online resource for parents seeking guidance. Thank you for recognizing that need and filling it, Nancy!
COZY CALM: Eileen Parker understands what our sensational kids need because she lives with SPD too. Struggling for years to find calming products that feel and look good, as well as to provide her with that proprioceptive stimulation her body needed, she created one herself. Her beautiful lap cozies and weighted blankets are soft, durable and...CALMING! She also let me know that she now has Neck Calmers! Please check out her website.
Be sure to check out our chat with Eileen over at "The Gift" blog. While over at her site, be sure to check out her blog too. She's an amazing person doing fantastic things to raise awareness about SPD.
The Out-of-Sync-Child: Every 'sensational' parent should have this vital link in their Favorites. This is the official Website of Carol Stock Kranowitz, author of many books on the subject of SPD. Her site is an extension of her books where you can gain some valuable insight, advice, tips as well as links to very important resources.
STAR Center: This is the premier clinic for research-based treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and other sensory challenges in children, adolescents, and adults. Created by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, their "comprehensive occupational therapy assessments and multidisciplinary evaluations lay a cornerstone for the innovative and effective STAR intervention model."
Parenting Special Needs is a bi-monthly Zine packed full with useful information from experts, professionals and parents on the front lines of parenting special needs children. It's different from Unique magazine in that at Unique, we focus strictly on the parents. With Parenting Special Needs, all topics related to raising special needs children is open for discussion. An extremely valuable resource worth looking into.
The Confident Student: I cannot say enough about this incredbile Website or its founder, Mary Turos. This site teaches us all about the importance of understanding the brain in order to help our kids learn. The idea is that each child has her own capacity for learning and their own ways in which they learn the best. Why don't we tap into that instead of moulding our child to 'fit into' a educational box? Not all kids learn the same ways and Mary gets that. This site teaches us how to teach our kids by paying attention to what they can do. So important!
Diane Craft: Another incredible person helping our children with learning by teaching about the "Can Do" approach, good nutrition and the right sensory tools. Diane is an incredible person and so knowledgable in SPD and senory issues.
Autistic-Like: Graham's Story: Every person out there who cares for, or cares about, a child with SPD can relate to this film on some level. Written and directed by Erik Linthorst this incredible and touching documentary shows one family's struggle with finding the right therapy and treatment for their young son, Graham. MUST-HAVE DVD for your SPD information resource shelf.
**UPDATE: In the beginning stages of our journey with Jaimie, the only information I could find on her symptoms all led me to autism. I struggled with that because something in my gut told me that she wasn't struggling with autism but something similar. It was a very difficult journey in the beginning because not only do you have a child that you know is in pain and needs help to function in her world but you have no support. People around you tell you that she's either "just spirited" or that she just needs more discipline or to go with another diagnosis to get the support. "SPD isn't a real diagnosis," is what we're told.
But that's not true.
Erik and Jennie Linthorst went through what so many caregivers around the world have gone through, and still go through, every day. But they were brave enough to film their journey to show that, yes, SPD IS real, it DOES hurt and these kids DO better with a solid therapy plan. They just need people to believe them...to guide them to the right resources and support. The Linthorst's movie, "Autistic-Like: Graham's Story" is so important because it gives a visual for what 1 in 6 children live with today and the film has given a face to so many families' struggles. Be sure to visit the Autistic-Like Website to be updated about the mini-sequel Erik completed to answer the question many of us have asked, "How is Graham doing today?"Thank you so much to the Linthorsts for this incredible resource. And we look forward to the sequel!**
OJTA (Our Journey Thru Autism): A few months ago, I came across one of the most phenomenal blogs that I think every family on their own journey with SPD, ASD, Asperger’s or other developmental struggles should be on. It was a space created by the Warrior Mama, Tiffani Lawton. There are people who crumble under the stress of having a child with high needs and some who reach out. There are still others who refuse to sit back, wanting to get out there and make a difference through raising understanding, awareness, and information. Tiffani Lawton is the latter.
I am greatly inspired by Tiffani and all her tireless efforts to raise awareness for families around the world living with ASD and Autism. Thank you, Tiffani, for your incredible contributions to the ASD/SPD communities. You and your work are the focus of this summer's "Featured Web Resources."
The SPD Foundation offers a wonderful opportunity to watch Dr. Jean Ayres in action! The Foundation now offers a one-hour course featuring historical footage of Dr. A Jean Ayres, an occupational therapy pioneer and visionary, speaking about Sensory Integration and treating children in her own clinic. There is also wonderful footage of Dr. Ayres being interviewed by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller! Students will receive CEU credit for this course which can be used for Occupational Therapists through the American Occupational Therapy Association.
On a more personal note, I found it truly inspiring to see this footage. For someone who, like so many other parents out there, went through so many years trying to get the right help for my Jaimie, this course made things 'feel' better. I actually teared up knowing that we are finally on the right path...the one set but Dr. Ayres so many years ago. She would be so pleased to see how far her findings and research has come.
Sensory Smarts: This amazing Website is run by authors Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske who wrote, Raising A Sensory Smart Child. The site is full of information about SPD and SPD products, a weekly tip from Lindsey and a newsletter. Be sure to add this site to your favorites.
Special Needs Parent Coach: Joan Celebi is doing incredible things to reach out to and help caregivers of special needs children. Not only does she have books out on the subject but she does Webinars and consultations as well. It can be a very tough job caring for our sensational kiddos and Joan is here to help.
Sensory Street: Ida Zelaya is President of this incredible online resource. Ida is tremendously knowledgable and experienced in SPD and the issues families face. She works tirelessly to bring information to these families and guide them to the resources they need. Do check out her Website, sign up for her newsletter, join her Facebook and Yahoo groups. This is one of the most important resources caregivers should have access to.
Developmental Delay Resources: This is an amazing site, created by Kelly Dorfman, where parents, teachers, therapists and anyone who cares for, or cares about, a child with special needs. Here you'll find everything from links to resources to searches for specific therapists to articles by top-notch professionals on subjects such as eating, therapy, school and more.
A Teach About.com: The official Website of Diana Henry. Here you'll find a wealth of information about helping teach folks about sensory integration in schools, buisnesses and the community.
Sensory Fun: This is the official Website of author Bonnie Arnwine who wrote the book, Starting Sensory Integration Therapy. Her site is an extension of her book with tips on games, exercises and information for caregivers of children with sensory issues and Autism. She also blogs so be sure to check that out too.
SPD BAY AREA: This is an excellent site for information not only about SPD but ways parents are striving to cure their children of their sensory issues using holistic, natural treatments. They also have a great parent group on Yahoo!
Meghan's World: This is the Website of my dear friend, Diane Renna, who authored the book, Meghan's World: The Story of One Girl's Triumph Over Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This is one of Jaimie's favorite books and she feels a little hope after each time we read it. Diane has helpful tips, suggestions and links to resources through her Website too.
Brain Gym: A phenomenal international program whose focus is learning through movement. You can go to their site to find a program offered near you.
One Mom's Synopsis: This touching synopsis was written by a Mom about her daughter, Katie and their struggles with SPD. She wrote it to bring awareness about SID/SPD as well as understanding for her daughter. Her story it very close to home for me so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. http://www.kid-power.org/sid/sidsynopsis.html
Nelson's Home Page: This is a terrific find to add to your Favorites as well. It's maintained by a wonderful Mom of five children who's taking her Bachelor of Science in Human Services. She had to do research on specific areas and the information she provides on SID/SPD is great. Check it out: http://home.comcast.net/~momtofive/
Sensory Critters: This is a fantastic site full of resources, information and products. There is also information on the site about Autism. Great resource. http://www.sensorycritters.com/
South Paw Enterprises - This is a site carrying a variety of products for when a sensational child is both sensory-sensitive as well as sensory-avoidant. Be sure to check it out. Jaimie tried the weighted vests and it's very good when she's "up."