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Sensory Flow/Sensitive Sam

On-line Interview with Chynna at Lily Wolf Word's Sensational Blogspace

Thank you to Chynna for a wonderful interview, please see attached link:



Parents Magazine Features Sensitive Sam

Parents Magazine, loved Sensitive Sam enough to feature in their "Parents Need To Know" section, in the December issue! I am extremely grateful to Parents Magazine for getting the word out about Sensory Processing Disorder to their 2.2 million circulation base of families.

Sensitive Sam children's book wins prestigious Creative Child Magazine 2009 Book of the Year Award

 Sensitive Sam is now on-line and in print in Decembers Holiday Issue of Creative Child Magazine!  For many year's Creative Child Magazine has offered families, specifically parents outstanding resources for both fun and educational toys, books and products for their children. "Creative Child Magazine is a national bi-monthly publication that provides parents with the latest information on how to nurture their childs creativity."  Creative Child Magazine has officially announced that Sensitive Sam has been presented as Winner of the 2009 Book of the Year Award.

"I am extremely thankful to Creative Child Magazine and the panel of moms, educators and experts that took part in this voting process.  Receiving this award with the numerous entries presented is quite an honor, and I am pleased that they are helping in getting the word out about Sensory Processing Disorder!"  ~Marla

Chicago Conference Up-date:









Chicago Conference  by:  Dr. Lucy Jane Miller  
Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation goes to the Midwest

The 9th International SPD Foundation Symposium in Chicago was a huge success,attended by more than 250 people from across disciplines and around the world. Beyond the information-packed program, highlights included presentation of the Sensory Processing Disorder Lifetime Award to Antje Price, OT/FAOTA, for her significant lifetime contributions to research and education in sensory integration/Sensory Processing Disorder and a Sensory Showtime screening of the moving documentary film, “Autistic-Like: Graham’s Story.”  

The three-day program kicked off October 8 with the Pre-Conference Institute on standardized scales and qualitative methods of assessment. In one of the four sessions, Antje Price described new insights from the motor accuracy scale within the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT). An occupational therapist with more than 60 years of experience, Antje highlighted differences in performance based on a distinction she made between children with dyspraxia (difficulty carrying out the skilled motor act in the correct sequence) and children with dysmetria (inability to stop movements at desired points during the task). Children with dysmetria tended to overshoot the line and use too much force while those with dyspraxia had difficulty with the planning and sequencing of the actions. Antje’s results suggested that children with dyspraxia have the poorest accuracy scores and tend to perform the task way too fast.

During the two days that followed, a dozen scientists, therapists, and authors delivered   presentations sharing the latest in research and intervention to the participants. Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR, founder and executive director of the Foundation, provided a compelling overview of research related to the validity of Sensory Processing Disorder as a distinct diagnosis in one of four keynote addresses.

Dr. Mary L. Schneider, professor and director of the occupational therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, addressed the conference on neurobiological correlates of SPD in a primate model including habituation, sensitization, and dopamine function. Dr. Schneider is a research associate at the Harlow Primate Laboratory where she conducts studies investigating the underlying neural mechanisms associated with fetal alcohol exposure, prenatal stress and sensory processing disorder. Her research strives to understand some of the most important questions we have about SPD:

  1. What are some of the physiological underpinnings? What brain regions or neurotransmitter systems are associated with particular patterns of Sensory Processing Disorder?
  2. Do genetic factors explain some variance in sensory processing? What is the role of environmental factors? How do genetic and environmental factors interact to contribute to outcomes?
  3. What about the role of stress? Could stress be a factor even before birth when neurons are migrating and proliferating?
  4. What is the role of alcohol and other drugs during the prenatal period on Postnatal Expression Sensory Processing Disorder?

Dr. Schneider’s findings suggest that atypical sensory processing behaviors can be identified in rhesus monkeys and that the subtype they manifest depends in part upon the timing of pre-natal events in genetically vulnerable offspring. Her research found an association between neurotransmitter function and atypical sensory behaviors. Specifically, post-natal lead exposure and pre-natal stress were related to sensory over-responsivity. She has concluded that atypical sensory processing appears to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.

Dr. H. Hill Goldsmith, professor of psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, presented a genetic epidemiological perspective on the question, “Are sensory processing symptoms distinct from other childhood behavioral challenges?” Goldsmith founded the University of Wisconsin Waisman Twin Center, where he conducts research in socio-emotional development from infancy to middle school years in twins. Currently, there are multiple ongoing studies at the Twin Center, three of which include Sensory Processing Disorder. Each of his studies strives to uncover the links among various socio-emotional characteristics including personality and characteristics in other domains such as vulnerability to psychopathology and patterns in physiological activation. Because his studies examine twins, they elucidate both the genetic and environmental influences on various aspects of development.

Of particular interest over the past decade has been the study of genetic influences on sensory over-responsivity using twin methodology. The two studies Dr. Goldsmith presented focused on tactile and auditory over-responsiveness in toddlers and first graders. His results suggest that tactile symptoms tend to be stable from toddlerhood to school age, indicating that children who had more symptoms at a younger age also tended to have elevated levels at the older age. Furthermore, in the first-grade sample, 44% of the children who screened positive for tactile and auditory over-responsivity did not have any other clinical diagnosis. He reported high correlations between mother and child sensory symptoms as well as support for the heritability of both auditory and tactile over-responsivity.

Beth Osten, MS, OTR/L and owner/director of Beth Osten and Associates - Pediatric Therapy Services, presented on assessment of emotional development. Beth is a member of the advisory board and on the DIR Institute faculty for the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders. Her presentation emphasized the relationship among sensory processing capacities and emotional development, highlighting how affect can be used to impact a child’s ability to make meaning of sensation. She described how parenting patterns can impact the child’s sensory and regulatory profile as well as how to determine a child’s functional emotional developmental level in designing appropriate treatments.

The 10th International Symposium of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and Pre-Conference Institute will be held March 4-6 in Denver, Colorado. The conference will feature two days in which Dr. Winnie Dunn will talk about “Living Sensationally at Home, School, and in the Community.” For details and registration, click here

Welcome to the Sensitive Sam Blog



Sensitive Sam is Winner of the 2009 Book of the Year Award by: Creative Child Magazine!  When we heard this news from my publisher Future Horizons, we could not have been happier.

This particular Awards Program is "unique in that all products submitted are reviewed by moms, music educators, and early education professionals.  Products are not reviewed by any one person.  They are reviewed by many people-the very people who purchase them.  All award winners are officially announced on their website,  In addition, all products submitted are published in Creative Child's big holiday issue, which is distributed in early November.  Creative Child Magazine is a national bimonthly publication that provides parents with the latest information on how to nurture their child's creativity, and is the most complete parenting publication for raising well-balanced children."  Thank you to all the reviewers that voted for Sensitive Sam, I am forever grateful.

I wrote Sensitive Sam to let children with SPD know that they are not alone, that help is available and there can be a happy ending for everyone! 


Recently the SPD Foundation and Dr. Lucy Jane Miller created an on-line learning campus.  I strongly suggest all who have any contact with children or adults with SPD to take this class.  Attending an e-learning class where Dr. Lucy Jane Miller shares her incredible wealth of knowledge and SPD research with empathy and hope is inspiring, encouraging and educational.  Check the site to learn more at:

Great news!  Sensitive Sam will be in the December issue of Parents Magazine in the "Parents Need to Know" section.  Please don't forget to pick up your copy.

One last note:  As parents of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, we know it is a very real and misunderstood disorder.  Early studies indicated that at least 1 in 20 school children have SPD, but the most recent research indicates the incidence may be more like 1 in every 6.  Estimated, 3.5 MILLION children in the United States alone!  They could be helped.  Their families could have hope.  "Research has documented that sensory-based occupational therapy brings about real and significant improvement in their symtoms and their lives.  BUT, the kids don't get it.  WHY NOT?  Because they haven't had their Rainman.  They are like children with autism before Dustin Hoffman made it visible, like kids with muscular dystrophy before Jerry Lewis gave them a voice."  Supporters like YOU could change that.  Please talk more about Sensory Processing Disorder to your friends, family, physicians, anyone who will listen, and pass on my web site with all its resource links to help these children, that is the very least we can do.




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