Posts tagged ‘sensory movement’

AUTISM: 101

Autism: Simple and Inexpensive Natural Autism Therapies to Help Your Autistic Child Live a Calm and Healthy Life

Written by Nancy Perez

The author is a proponent of natural therapies to relieve stress and anxiety. She has used them to treat her own diabetes for years and has written how to employ them to assist in the treatment of autism. In this book, Perez provides an overview of the autism spectrum. While there is a myriad of symptoms and behaviors, all autistic children suffer from communication and socialization issues. Autism appears to have connections with both genetics and the environment.

The heart of the book deals with treatments. While many patients diagnosed with autism require some sort of medication, Perez focuses on more natural treatments. A definite diagnosis is often not made until after age five, but early intervention is important to address a child’s needs. Speech, physical and occupational therapy may be needed as well as special education to address cognition. Depending on the issues the individual faces, music therapy, art therapy, animal therapy, nature therapy, and swing therapy, might be effective interventions. I found the discussion of using horses (hippotherapy) to help a child process sensory movements enlightening. Simpler steps that can be implemented easily in the home include removing chemical products, messaging the child, experimenting with dietary needs, and introducing yoga. Learning each child’s preferences and needs is the most difficult aspect of living and working with a child on the autistic spectrum.

As an educator who has worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team treating autistic children, I would definitely recommend this book to parents and educators who are new to the field of autism as an easy to read introduction to the subject.

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SWINGING WITH THE PLANETS

Sing the Planets: I’ll Remember That (Volume 1)

Written and Illustrated by Bonnie Ferrante

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A different and innovative approach to introduce the planets of our solar system to children. Wish I had this book when I was teaching the solar system to third grade students. This author combines beautiful photos of the planets with multicultural drawings of children. Instead of simply presenting information, readers are provided with a story about the mythological background behind the name of each planet. The author distinguishes between the inner and outer planets and explains the features which make them different. Each planet is assigned different notes and a musical song that can be sung to the tune of “Alouette.” Drawings indicate a unique movement associated with each planet like hugging yourself, flapping arms like wings or spinning around. Children can feel themselves moving in space as the planets do. The information is up to date; Pluto is no longer classified a planet. Some children remember better with a word rhyme so Ms. Ferrante suggests the sentence, My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles as a mnemonic to remember the planetary names. At the end of the book, a glossary redefines and elaborates on all scientific terminology mentioned in the text.

Such a wealth of knowledge packed into 35 pages. Younger children will enjoy looking at the photos and performing the gestures. Older students will expand their knowledge base of the solar system.

A child will be able to use this book over and over again for a number of years. Recommended for children ages five and up. Also a great family or classroom group activity!

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FUN WITH FACES

What’s Missing: Faces A Toddler Learning Activity

Written and Illustrated by Bonnie Ferrante

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What a delightful way for a parent or caretaker to share playing a game and learning all at once! In this fun book for toddlers, simple multicultural faces are presented with one part missing. The child then guesses what feature is missing. The author explains in simple fashion how that part of the body is used. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth and hair are explained. Ms. Ferrante goes on to include eyebrows and tongue. Near the end of the book, a few familiar animals like ducks, cats, and elephants are presented. They possess additional facial features such as whiskers, trunks and bills that are an important part of that animal’s face.

Children ages two to five can have lots of fun with this book while stretching their minds, using their senses, and moving their little bodies. Highly recommended for parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians as a must have for their kindle or bookshelf.

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