Many parents strive to teach their children independence. Parents of children on the autism spectrum desire independence for their children, too, but sometimes that is harder than it sounds. John Taylor, PhD, offers tweens and teens with sensory issues a chance to take charge of their sensory needs, and that is one of the reasons I love Learn to Have Fun with Your Senses: the Sensory Avoider’s Survival Guide.
Learn to Have Fun includes ten chapters. Five of them each cover a different sense–touch, movement, hearing, vision, and taste/smell. Additional chapters have introductory material, and then finish with eating correctly, getting rest, and self care. As a parent, I really appreciate that Dr. Taylor takes the book a step further than just the senses, and teaches the readers that rest, nutrition, and self care are important parts of dealing with sensory challenges.
The other feature I love about Learn to Have Fun is the quiz in the beginning of each chapter. Readers can check off yes/no questions to determine if they have sensory challenges in this area, or if they can skip the chapter. Dr. Taylor reminds readers to discuss their challenges and possible solutions with their parents, therapists, and teachers. Having seen parents left out of the list of safe adults before, I am glad to see that Dr. Taylor values parental input, and teaches his readers that parents are on their team.
Finally, Dr. Taylor offers readers ways to “train your brain”. The end of the chapters allows teens to get comfortable with their sensory issues through various exercises. Again, this encourages independence. I imagine that many teens try things in this book because Dr. Taylor recommends it, but if their parent suggested it, they’d resist.
Learn to Have Fun also includes a separate note for parents, occupational therapists, and teachers. There really isn’t anything I don’t like about this book. I think the only “con” is that I want an elementary student version so my Dr. J can use it. Maybe Dr. Taylor would consider a picture book edition.
Here’s the cool part! Future Horizons offers you, my sweet readers, a 15% discount on Learn to Have Fun with Your Senses when you use my affiliate code HATS. If you’re in the continental US, you also receive FREE SHIPPING! You can also get a discount on continuing education conferences. Woohoo! (By the way, the authors also get paid more when you go this route instead of Amazon. You get a discount and free shipping, and the authors get more money! Win-win!)