hard to be a verb

It’s Hard to be a Verb

Book: It’s Hard To Be a Verb!

Author: Julia Cook

Age: Preschool and School Age

Description: Louis (our friend from Personal Space Camp, and My Mouth in a Volcano) struggles with “focus.” His mom gives him some strategies to help him at home and at school because “it’s hard to be a verb.”


  • Social Skills
  • Body Language
  • Sensory Tools
  • Regulation
Why I like this book: Great for discussion about whole body listening, and helping kids find ways to help themselves.
Ideas for use: 
  • While reading, have kids identify how their body feels when they feel their body is a “verb.” Louis feels itchy and jumpy, how do you feel? Is it your body? It it your mind? Is it both?
  • A good book to introduce some body tools (best to do with guidance from your team OTs). What tools and strategies help them? Taking a break, moving their bodies, a drink of water, putty, reading a book, squeezing thier muscles and then relaxing, making a schedule with visuals, visual reminders, etc. Great to discuss how everyone uses different tools to help themselves. Provide some options and experiment.
  • Discuss how their bodies should look when they are “focused.” Focus on all different parts of the body. Listening eyes, listening hands, listening feet, etc. With younger kiddos you can do “NOT listening eyes,” then switch to “listening eyes,” and do with each body part.
  • Discuss WHY we need good listening bodies. What are other people (friends, teachers, etc.) thinking if we’re not listening with our whole bodies? What are some clues that we may not be listening? How can we help a friend that is having  a hard time?
  • Brainstorm places/contexts where it’s ok to be a “verb.” Playgrounds, outside, P.E. class, movement games in the classroom, etc. Can tie to safety awareness too.

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham  M.S. CCC-SLP

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The Sensory Team Handbook

Title:  The Sensory Team Handbook: A hands-on tool to help young people make sense of their senses and take charge of their sensory processing

Author:  Nancy Mucklow

Age:  pre-teens and teens

Description:  An instructional resource book for pre-teens and teens with sensory processing disorder


  • Explains the brain-body connection
  • Teaches about the 7 senses including muscle sense and gravity sense
  • Describes impact of SPD on social and emotional well-being
  • Teaches strategies for managing sensory needs
  • Workbook pages are included throughout the book to provide opportunity for reflection and personalization

Why I like this book:  The concepts are presented in teen-friendly language with cartoony illustrations and humor along the way.

Ideas for use:

  • Helpful for children who are newly diagnosed with SPD in later elementary years.  Also good for kids who were diagnosed early but are ready to go a little deeper into issues and solutions
  • Great teaching tool for parent and child together to promote understanding and communication
  • Share with teachers and therapists
  • Use in a book group format for small groups of kids or in parent-child book group

Submitted by:  Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

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Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears?

Title: Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears? Dealing with Sensory Overload

Author: Jennifer Veenendall

Age: early elementary

Description: A young girl enters first grade only to discover the sensory demands of the classroom lead her to cry, hide, lash out at others, and become socially alienated. Understanding adults in her life help Izzy manage the chaos so she is able to enjoy school, learn, and make friends.

• Sensory processing disorders
• Behavioral outcomes of auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular modulation challenges
• Social impact of sensory modulation disorders
• Positive effects of sensory diet strategies for school and home

Why I like this book: There are few books that accurately depict sensory processing disorders in tangible ways for young children. This one succeeds and the illustrations are great.

Ideas for use:
• Read to children with SPD to help them understand they are not alone and not “bad.”
• I have adapted this book for use with preschoolers as young as 3 ½. They see themselves in the story and love it!
• The illustrations beautifully demonstrate through facial expression and body language the functional and social consequences of sensory modulation disorders.
• It is wonderful to see kids light up when they come to the pages on strategies for managing sensory processing issues in school.
• Read to a class to increase their awareness and understanding of children with sensory processing disorders.
• Share the book with teachers, therapists, and parents to help broaden their understanding of sensory modulation disorders.
• Read to siblings of children with SPD.

Submitted by: Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

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