About Raising a Sensory Smart Child

Updated and Expanded Edition of Raising a Sensory Smart Child

By Lindsey Biel, OTR/L and Nancy Peske, with a foreword by Dr. Temple Grandin

Available at your local bookstore and online at sites including:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Borders Indie Bound

Raising A Sensory Smart Child is the definitive handbook for overcoming sensory processing challenges, providing you with invaluable insights, tips, real-life strategies, and resources−whether you are helping an infant, young child, teenager, adult child, or even yourself.

Coauthored by a pediatric occupational therapist (OT) and the mother of a child with sensory processing disorder (SPD), the expanded and updated edition of Raising A Sensory Smart Child is more valuable than ever, including:

iParenting Media Award Winner

In all, the new edition of Raising a Sensory Smart Child is the single most important book for anyone who parents, teaches, works with, or simply cares about a child with sensory issues.

Praise for Raising a Sensory Smart Child

National Parenting Publications Gold Award Winner

“A comprehensive, informative, and practical book for parents. The authors explain sensory integration in a way that parents can understand. They provide very practical, hands-on examples for helping the child at home, in school, and in other settings. This is a must read for all parents who have children with sensory integration issues.”

−Larry B. Silver, M.D., author of The Misunderstood Child

“At last, here are the insights and answers parents have been searching for.”

−Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures

“Because most of us never experience anything quite like it, sensory integration disorder can be difficult to conceive, understand, or recognize. Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske illuminate the mysteries of sensory integration disorder in clear, practical terms. Both parents and teachers will find a wealth of insight and advice on helping our wonderful−although sometimes challenging−kids.”

−Patty Romanowski Bashe, M.S.Ed., Executive Director, The David Center
Co-author of The O.A.S.I.S. Guide to Asperger Syndrome

Biel and Peske combine a professional and personal approach in creating a knowledgeable and supportive guide for parents. In a very readable manner they explain complex information and at the same time provide practical strategies that families can really use.

−Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of Raising Your Spirited Child

“Raising a Sensory Smart Child is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, counselors, and pediatricians who’d like to know more about sensory integration dysfunction.”

About the Authors

Image of Authors

Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L (left) is a pediatric occupational therapist based in Manhattan, where she evaluates and treats children, adolescents, and young adults with sensory processing issues, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, and other developmental challenges.

Lindsey specializes in remediating fine and gross motor delays, visual perceptual skill development, enhancing daily living skills, and improving sensory processing issues. She also helps families and schools to make simple modifications at home and school to enhance a child’s ability to play, learn, and thrive.

Lindsey is also the author of Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens, published by W.W. Norton Mental Health in 2014. She writes articles for both professional and parenting publications and is the co-creator of the Sensory Processing Master Class DVD program along with Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide. She is a popular speaker, teaching workshops to parents, therapists, doctors, and others on practical solutions for developmental challenges and sensory strategies at home, school, and in the community.

You can email Lindsey at Lindsey@sensorysmarts.com

Nancy Peske (right) is a freelance writer, editor, and the co-author of the Cinematherapy series. She has co-written and edited several bestselling books in the areas of spirituality, inspiration, health, and psychology. She lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin with her husband and son, diagnosed with SPD and developmental delays. You can learn more about Nancy on her website.

Dr. Temple Grandin, who wrote the foreword, is Associate Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and is a person with autism. She is the author of Thinking in Pictures and other bestselling books. You can find out more about Dr. Grandin on her website.

Book Contents

Updated and Expanded Edition, Published by Penguin Books, August 2009


Recognizing and Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Issues

Chapter 1: Why Is My Child So… Unusual? 11

Chapter 2: The Seven Senses 28

Chapter 3: Tuning in to Your Child 50

Chapter 4: Where Did the Wires Cross? 64


Addressing Your Child’s Sensory Needs

Chapter 5: Finding and Working with an Occupational Therapist 87

Chapter 6: Sensory Diet of Daily Activities 103

Chapter 7: Practical Solutions for Everyday Sensory Problems 136

  • Self-Care Challenges: Grooming, Dressing, Eating, and Toileting
    • Grooming
    • Bathing
    • Diaper changes
    • Hair washing, brushing and cutting
    • Toothbrushing
    • Tooth grinding
    • Trimming nails
    • Clothing and underwear
    • Eyeglasses
    • Hats, gloves, and mittens
    • Helmets
    • Shoes, shoelaces, and boots
    • Potty training
    • Bed wetting
    • Meal time
    • Swallowing and taking capsules
    • Potty training
    • Bed wetting
  • Special Times, At Home and Away
    • Amusement parks
    • Bike Riding
    • Parties and gatherings
    • Dentist and doctor
    • Outdoor events
    • Public bathrooms
    • Shopping trips
    • Summer camp
    • Swimming
    • Waiting in line
  • Home Environment
    • Bathroom
    • Bedroom
    • Lighting
    • Noise and smell reduction
    • Room décor
  • Miscellaneous Challenges
    • Car rides
    • Elevators, escalators, and sliding glass doors
    • Hand flapping and head banging
    • Temperature sensitivity
    • General noise sensitivity
    • Fear of specific noises
    • Personal space issues
    • Picking up toys
    • Toe walking
    • Quick tips for calming an overwhelmed child
  • Practical Tips for Teens and Adults
    • Environmental issues
    • Learning to drive and driving
    • Doctor and dentist visits


Fostering Your Child’s Development

Chapter 8: Dealing with Developmental Delays 189

Chapter 9: Sensory Issues and the Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder 220

Chapter 10: Improving Speech Skills and Picky Eating 236

Chapter 11: Helping Your Child to Learn and Get Organized 256

Chapter 12: Nutrition, Sleep, and Stress 283

Chapter 13: Complementary Therapies and Approaches 299


Parenting with Sensory Smarts

Chapter 13: Handling Discipline, Transitions, and Behavioral Issues 313

Chapter 14: Advocating for Your Child at School 332

Chapter 15: The Special Challenges for Teenagers 355

Chapter 16: Empowering Your Child in the World 364


Sources for Useful Toys, Equipment, and Products 381

Photos of Toys, Equipment and Products 390

Lindsey and Nancy’s Fifty Favorite Toys 399

Organizations and Web Sites 402