Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ben’s School Daze - A story of being overwhelmed in a sensory world

We, Mr L and I, were asked to review the new book called Ben’s School Daze.  The book is written by Magnetic Moves Co-Directors, Robyn Sims and Joanne Larcom. 

The children’s book is about Ben, a lively and active boy, who finds the sensory experiences within his day to be overwhelming.  From not wanting to brush his hair, putting shoes and socks on, the loud and noisy trip to school, the school playground, in the classroom and getting home from his school day.   ‘Loud noises vibrate through is body and “shoes and socks bother him… they never feel just right”. This can make it hard for Ben to be a good student.  But don’t worry, his teacher and mum know what to do to help him through his day.’

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can exist on its own or in conjunction with other childhood development and behavioural disorders, like Autism.  The book has pages on ideas for using the book as a teaching tool for children, parents and teachers, with discussions you can incorporate in a classroom group or one on one with the child.  It also has a section on what is SPD, what you can do to help, Classroom and School concepts and a short list of useful websites. 

After finishing reading the book, I asked Mr L what his thoughts were about Ben.   Mr L said “Ben sounds just like me when I was in early Primary School – wish I had this book back then to take to school for the teacher to read to the class”.  The wonderful book is written in a way that children with SPD feel like they are not alone.  From a parent’s perspective – I could totally understand what Ben was going through as Mr L had a lot of the same sensory experiences when he was younger.  Mr L has come a long way, through many hours of therapy, courses and great resources like this book.  Mr L still hates tags on his clothes, certain clothing materials, loud noises, horrid smells and will still only brush his hair with a soft baby hairbrush as normal hairbrushes hurt his head. 

We love this book as it is simply written in a way children will understand and the illustrations that go with the story as real life examples of what SPD feels/looks like.  This book is a valuable resource for both children (with or without sensory issues), parents and teachers to get an understanding of the daily challenges children with SPD go through  and simple strategies to help children like Ben get through the day and make things smoother for the child and their  family. 

The authors, Robyn Sims is a paediatric occupational therapist and Joanne Larcom is a mother of a child who has sensory processing challenges so the book has been written by two people who understand SPD and the daily challenges children and families face.  The book is beautifully illustrated by Helen Devenish who has been painting and creating beautiful art for over 30 years. 

Ben’s School Daze book will be launched on July 19th 2015, and for those readers who are in Brisbane or South East Queensland, Magnetic Moves, are having a free fun family afternoon with fun activities, book reading and signing, afternoon tea and sausage sizzle from 3pm to 5pm at Splitz Gym, 79 Jijaws St, Sumner Park.  You can purchase Ben’s School Daze on the day and 10% of books sold will be donated to Children’s Safety Australia.

For more information on Magnetic Moves and their sensory processing tools visit:

For more information on Sensory Processing Disorder visit:

The Toy Bug will be stocking Ben's School Daze soon!

Until next time - Keep Smiling!

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