Until 2 years ago I knew nothing about sensory issues or Sensory Processing Disorder (SDI). I knew that Ethan was having major problems, and had been since he was born, but just wasn't sure why or what. Even our primary care physician of 13 years wasn't much help, she just kept telling me he will grow out of it, he is still little (even after coming into the office with his intestines full of the peat gravel from under the swing set).
Ethan was finally referred over to Early On for speech therapy by his cleft doctor due to the fact that he did not want to do his cleft palate surgery until they were sure that it was in fact the cleft causing the speech problems. In order for a child by law to get speech therapy services they have to do a complete screening for the child. When they came out to the house to do the testing they informed me that Ethan did not only have severe speech delays (5 words at 2 years old) but he had fine motor delays and Sensory Processing Disorder as well. I strongly believe that knowledge is power, so I did lots of reading and researching. I was blown away to find out that this was an answer to so many of the problems we were having with Ethan, but I also discovered that Dustin and Cody struggle with sensory issues as well and had been for a long time.
While we started the program I also read The Goodendough's Get in Sync, a chapter a day till we were finished with the book to the older kids (they loved this book and would make sure we read it every day), we also read Arnie and His School Tools: Simple Sensory Solutions That Build Success which was a nice story for the younger kids, but one that would have been better just checking out from the library instead of purchasing ;)
I am just about finished reading through Take 5 Staying Alert at Home and school. While I am working my way through the book the kids and I have been enjoying the Alert Go Fish game, the game teaches the kids what each of the "engine levels" look like, which is step 1 of the program. The pictures on the game are very colorful and inviting for kids and make it very easy and fun to figure out what each level would look like.
Alert Go Fish is emailed to you in a PDF file. I chose to print the cards on card stock and will be laminating them so they can continue to be used by all the kids for many years. The game is just like regular go fish, except the pairs are of people/characters on all 3 levels of "engine speed," and because the kids are getting a good look at the pictures they are getting a wonderful view as to what each of the levels would look like. My hopes for using this program are for each of the kids to understand their own "engine levels" and to be able to implement a more structured sensory diet into their daily lives. I plan on sharing a new sensory diet set up that is very easy to use in a homeschool class or just at home that we will be using in our house soon!
Head on over to the Therapy Works website for more information about the program, some great resources or to purchase the program.
Here is a sample of some of the cards.
Some of the Alert Program products are available from Amazon.com as well