Review: The Sensory Child Gets Organized by Carolyn Dalgliesh

the sensory childThe Sensory Child Gets Organized
written by Carolyn Dalgliesh
published by Touchstone

release date: September 3, 2013

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the publisher to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book:
I liked the book.  It was a bit wordy, and I felt that Dalgliesh was uncomfortable writing the first few chapters – they covered the basics on various sensory disorders, which are clearly not her area of expertise – but otherwise it was great!

When I’m reading a Special Education book I review it two different ways – once as an Applied Behavior Analysis professional and once as a parent.  As an ABA professional there were a few things that irked me – mainly Dalgliesh’s statement that “sensory kids are aware…that something is ‘different’ about them,”  along with her assumption that ‘sensory kids’ are always verbal.  They’re not – in either situation.  But Dalgliesh makes no claims of being a Special Ed professional, so I’ll give her a pass.

All the way through the book I kept saying to myself, “Um, yeah, duh.”  “Obviously.”  “Well OF COURSE you would do that!  Why wouldn’t you?”  I thought I was being a Special Ed snob, but then I realized something.  Carolyn Dalgliesh is a genius.  She’s taken her organizational skills (which, as someone with OCD, I utterly appreciate), and used them to help parents – the parents of any child – streamline, simplify, and relax their lives.  She focuses on long-term lessons, not specific tasks or behaviors, so by reading this book you’ll end up with an overall strategy for parenting, not one program designed to target one specific behavior.

Dalgliesh conveys the basics of ABA in an informal, friendly tone:  be an objective observer and understand your child rather than trying to fix him.  She’s also figured out that a lot of what we, as Special Education professionals, DO is common sense:  break down problematic tasks into easy steps, get rid of the distractions, and use visual aids.  She calls it the ‘Golden Tool,’ and she’s right.  A Behavior Analyst would tell you the same things, only with more lingo and at $150/hr.

I enjoyed her socially acceptable terminology, especially her use of the word “fascinations” as opposed to stims, self-stimulatory behavior, or obsessions.  I appreciated her checklists (though I’m not sure I needed examples on how to fill them out), and I loved that she told her story without ever once labeling any of the children she used as examples.  Children are children, not labels, and Dalgliesh gets that.


Would I recommend it: Absolutely.  If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, or even if you’re just dealing with a particularly obstinate little human, The Sensory Child Gets Organized gives concrete, manageable advice for how to organize every room in your house (as well as outings, vacations, and holiday get-togethers) to minimize strife and maximize enjoyment.  You may not need specific examples of all the different types of journals (spiral bound?  Leather?  Online?), but if you’re a parent – regardless of your child’s diagnosis or lack thereof – you need this book.

Will I read it again: I will certainly refer to it for ideas; it’s a treasure-trove!


About the book – from Goodreads: 
Every year, tens of thousands of young children are diagnosed with disorders that make it difficult for them to absorb the external world. Parents of sensory kids—like those with sensory processing disorder, anxiety disorder, AD/HD, autism, bipolar disorder, and OCD—often feel frustrated and overwhelmed, creating stress in everyday life for the whole family. Now, with The Sensory Child Gets Organized, there’s help and hope.

As a professional organizer and parent of a sensory child, Carolyn Dalgliesh knows firsthand the struggles parents face in trying to bring out the best in their rigid, anxious, or distracted children. She provides simple, effective solutions that help these kids thrive at home and in their day-to-day activities, and in this book you’ll learn how to:

¦ Understand what makes your sensory child tick
¦ Create harmonious spaces through sensory organizing
¦ Use structure and routines to connect with your child
¦ Prepare your child for social and school experiences
¦ Make travel a successful and fun-filled journey

With The Sensory Child Gets Organized, parents get an easy-to-follow road map to success that makes life easier—and more fun—for your entire family.


Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!