Review of: A Buffet of Sensory Interventions: Solutions for Middle and High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (by Susan Culp)

How a text of only 150 pages (including supplemental information and appendices) can be so informative is a wonderful thing! This text will be one to keep on the shelf and reference regularly throughout consultation with parents and families, as well as adolescents as a Behavior Analyst. This book also stresses the importance of including adolescents in their own treatment plan and provides ideas to gain access to adolescent’s thoughts and needs. The core of this book provides information on each sensory system, what a hypersensitivity would look like, and what a hyposensitivity would look like. Additionally, each sensory system chapter indentifies tasks that may be challenging and possible replacement behaviors. The book also stresses the value of involving an Occupational Therapist on a treatment team, which is a relevant piece of advice as several professionals are currently involved in legal action for practicing outside their realm of training. The text also discusses the fact that sensory replacement behaviors can be suggested by any member of the team- parent, child, or professional- although insight from a trained OT is valuable. Working in largely rural areas where access to sensory-trained occupational therapists may be limited and sensory diets often consist of rarely implemented bean or rice boxes, this book offers a valuable perspective on integrating a child or adolescent’s needs into their daily schedule.

This book provides insightful knowledge in differences in sensory processing challenges related to older students for parents and professionals. This text spends the entire first chapter (40 pages!) reviewing differences between Sensory Modulation Disorder, Sensory-Based Motor Disorder, and Sensory Discrimination Disorder. General information provided is detailed, but understandable for professionals without a sensory background, as well as family members. Processing time for different sensory systems is reviewed, helping in developing understanding of why activities may influence someone so many hours later.

Assessments (both formal and informal) and valuable practical information on scheduling and planning appropriate interventions for middle and high school aged individuals are included as well. Even though the focus of this book is on this challenging age,  information could easily generalize to an older or younger population. Although young children may not mind a peer who is behaving differently to meet their sensory needs, I have unfortunately, worked with many adults in the classroom who misunderstand a child’s sensory needs. Providing more appropriate replacement behaviors in any scenario, regardless of an individual’s age, is a key to meeting treatment needs and decreasing less-desirable behaviors.

This book is written in clearly, with visual support and utilizes the “Sensory Gang” characters to develop understanding of sensory challenges and needs. I have used these characters to help explain a child’s behavior to parents, other professionals, and siblings of children with sensory needs and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders. As an added benefit, copies of report forms and communication tools for school or community activities are included in the Appendix of the book. Most importantly, the text is readable, clearly understood, and focused enough that it can be read rapidly, and in the limited time that parents and professionals have available. Just what is expected from the publishers of Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Issues (2000). While the previous text provides information on the relation of behavior to sensory issues, this text focuses on clear strategies to implement with older students, namely middle school, high school, and beyond.

You can view an excerpt of text through Amazon.

*Please note that this review was not sponsored or endorsed and is only the opinion of this professional. This book was purchased at a professional conference. Please also note that any purchases through Amazon Affiliate link do provide financial support to continue Thank you!
Category(s): Reviews, Sensory

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