Waking up images

Waking Up is Hard to Do

Title:   Waking Up Is Hard to Do

Author:   Music and Lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, Children’s Lyrics by Neil Sedaka, Illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Age:   Preschool, Early Elementary
Description:   A young alligator goes through his morning routine getting up and ready for school.  His engine is running low at first light but slowly improves as he participates in all the sensory and motor activities involved in a typical morning.  A CD is included that adds to the delightful lyrics and illustrations.
  • Sequencing
  • Routines
  • Activities of daily living
  • Arousal levels from low to high
  • Sensory input inherent in all morning activities (vision-morning light, auditory-alarm clock, movement-stretching, oral/tactile-brushing teeth, oral-breakfast, muscle sense-books and back pack)
  • Family
  • Social/friendship
  • Early narrative
  • Early prediction
  • Animal Vocabulary (jungle, zoo animals)

Why I like this book:  Catchy tune, fun lyrics, and bright, beautiful illustrations make this book hard to put down… even for an adult.  There is so much to see on each page.

Ideas for use:

  • Many families describe mornings as very challenging.  Try reading this book to them in the evening in preparation for the following day.
  • Play the CD first thing in the morning and look at illustrations together to start the day.
  • Use the book and story to illustrate some activities that can help increase a low arousal state…to get the body engine running.
  • While looking at the book, have kids identify parts of each step in the routine that might help them get their own engines going in the morning.
  • Act out the story NOT in the morning to emphasize the steps and sequence of the routine.
  • Use the pictures to have the child retell the story. Encourage words like “first, next, after that, last, etc.”
  • A great book for description as the illustrations are gorgeous. Play “I spy” on each page
  • Lots of opportunity for “why” and prediction (i.e. why is he feeling blue? Why is the turtle missing the bus? After brushing teeth, what will he do next?, etc.)

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