Hello! Welcome back to HeadStart for Life’s blog, Beyond Therapy!
I hope it has been a good week so far.
Today, let’s discuss an important source of information for parents who want to learn more about how to better support their children – books! There are tons of such resources available online and offline for parents. What has been on your reading list? I recently came across some varied genres of books that I thought were good reads for understanding children’s behaviour and thought processes. These books have given me some insight and inspiration on how to better support children’s development. I thought I might share them with you through some book reviews here.
Book title: Fighting the Dragons, Finding the self
Author: Caroline Essame
The author Caroline Essame is an occupational therapist who also specialises in Creative arts therapy and play-based learning. She created the developmental stages of art and combined it with play-based models, art therapy models and occupational therapy in her work. In the book, she documents how developmental art stages can be used to help children work through difficult emotions and better express themselves through Creative activities. She describes how the visual language can be an empowering medium for children to communicate what verbal language could not. I find the contents in this book really easy to digest as the case studies are put together in the form of short stories. Photographs of the clients’ artwork are also shown alongside the case studies, making it easier to relate and visualise. Overall I find that this book has inspired me to change some of my approach during sessions and how I look at my students’ artwork and behaviour when working with art.
Book Title: Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses
Author: Winnie Dunn
The author Dr. Winnie Dun is an occupational therapist who is well-known for her studies on sensory processing. In this book, she describes the four different types of sensory profiles and how individuals receive and react to different sensations around them. She breaks down the different sensations people experience in daily living such as texture of commonly used items and sounds in the environment, and offers suggestions on how we can change or make choices that suit our sensory profiles. The information is helpful in understanding why children with sensory processing difficulties react in a particular way and what parents can do to help improve their experience of sensations.
Book Title: No Longer A SECRET: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory or Motor Challenges
Authors: Doreit Bialer, Lucy Jane Miller
This book offers a load of tips and tricks for parents and professionals working with children with sensory processing difficulties. The authors describe how we can improvise on daily living items and our environment to help the children with their sensory and motor issues. The book breaks down theoretical complexes into easy-to-read manuals. The suggestions and information are helpful to parents in managing their child’s difficulties in functional and effective ways.
There are really so many nice and engaging books to read with your child. I am sure you have heard of some classic titles such as “The hungry caterpillar”, or “How to catch a star” and so on. Book titles are also really easy to find with a search in online bookstores. Today I will share some less common titles from my personal collection of children’s books.
Book for thought!
Book Title: The Night Train
Author: Ulf Stark
The story begins with a lonely and anxious boy who is afraid of the dark. The boy met a talking “Night Train” who promised to give him a ride in the sky if he could pick up his courage to gather the darkness around him and load them into the wagon. Later, the boy explored various places with the Night Train and eventually met a girl who was having a party by herself. The new friends played together and promised to meet again in the same town they are living in. Through the events in the story, the boy is no longer lonely and anxious.
I found this book by accident while browsing the children’s department in IKEA. I was surprised that IKEA had a neat collection of children’s stories and they were reasonably priced at less than SGD$10. I liked this book because of its story line and how it targeted the fear of the dark, anxious feelings, and friendship — all of which are relevant to children. When I was telling the story to children, I could see their faces light up when the train flew up into the night. There are also values of sharing and caring which makes it nice to incorporate when storytelling.
Book Title: The Moon Jumping
Author: Sabrina Karim
This is a story tapping on the popular rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” which had a phrase that mentioned cows jumping over the moon. The story begins with a boy who grew out of his nursery rhymes and thought that he was too old for children fantasies. Later, he met a talking cow who invited him to the Cownival to watch as he competes in the moon jumping contest. Eager to watch the talking cow succeed in his moon jumping trick, the boy tried to help his new friend as they meet with different adversities. The book is appropriate for older children as there are several pages. I liked how the storyline illustrates and extends from the magical world of a nursery rhyme, the concepts of friendship and what it means to be a good friend.
At HeadStart for Life, we do our best to provide our parents with access to as many resources as we can. I hope this blog post will be able to do that for some of our readers as well. Have fun & happy bonding!