Sensory Parenting, From Newborns to Toddlers: Everything is Easier when Your Childs Senses are Happy!

Sensory Parenting, From Newborns to Toddlers: Everything is Easier when Your Childs Senses are Happy!


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A child’s sensory system affects their ability to learn, play, socialize and function. Maybe a child isn’t able to sit still in class because his shirt tag is bothering him, or isn’t able to play with other children because his balance is off. Maybe your child isn’t just a picky eater, it could be that his sensory system needs some special guidance and adjusting.

Britt Collins, MS,OTR/L and Jackie Linder-Olson, an occupational therapist and parent team, have organized and combined parenting information along with sensory integration methods, tips, and solutions. We’ve made it easy and fun and will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary battles between you and your child. It’s amazing how quickly our children adapt and the little adjustments that can make our days smoother. Beginning with your baby’s birth, Britt and Jackie walk parents through everyday situations and duties all the way through your child’s early stages of development through the first five years. They explain the underlying reasons beneath your child’s negative behaviors and the often simple fixes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935567226
Publisher: Future Horizons, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2010
Pages: 317
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


Britt Collins, M.S., OTR/L (Pediatric Occupational Therapist) and Jackie Olson (Mother) have created and written a series of Occupational Therapy DVDs for children with autism and other special needs,, winning an iParenting Award for Outstanding Product 2008.  They write and provide on-air talent to a monthly radio show for Autism One Radio and have spoken at conferences across the United States on the benefits of Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration in the home, school, and community.  Miss Collins has had articles published in Autism File and Charlotte Parent, while Mrs. Olson has written articles for, an excerpt in the book “Vision Boards; The Secret to an Extraordinary Life” and penned the screenplay  “The Caretaker” starring Jennifer Tilly and Judd Nelson (2008).  Having such positive results in the niche special needs market, this duo is riding the mainstream wave of typical child parenting by popular demand.  Britt and Jackie’s article on the benefits of playing the Wii have created a buzz and are garnering them attention as game gurus.   Their press interviews and reviews of their DVDs have been featured in First Magazine, Library Journal, Autism Spectrum Quarterly, Fit Yoga, LA Health, Costco Connection, Vision Magazine, as well as several newspapers and websites.


Britt Collins’ professional experience and education: Since graduating from Colorado State University with a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy, Britt has practiced in a variety of settings; including Sensory Integration clinics, schools, homes, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing facilities. Britt honed her Occupational Therapist skills at a pediatric clinic in Tarzana, California prior to working for Pedia Staff in the Battle Ground, Washington school district where she oversaw 2 elementary schools and the middle school and high school.

Britt has mainly focused her career as an OT on Sensory Integration and how this affects children with various special needs, such as autism, ADHD, Sensory Dysfunction and more. She is a member of The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and currently works with the Legacy Health System in Pediatric Rehabilitation and Inpatient Acute Pediatrics in Portland, Oregon.

While working at a Pediatric Hospital, Britt continues her Occupational Therapy education.  Most recently she completed a course in NICU and EI Feeding for Medically Fragile Children.  Britt is focusing her energy on learning new techniques and types of therapy to increase her knowledge about occupational therapy, such as Hippotherapy (working with horses and children), medically fragile children in the acute phase of treatment, new evidence based practice research on sensory integration, animal-assisted therapy and much more.


Jackie Linder-Olson’s professional and personal experience: Jackie Olson found out upon the birth of her child that “something was wrong” and has spent the last seven years learning about sensory processing disorders to help her son and other families.  As a filmmaker who started her career at Miramax Films and then 20th Century Fox, she went freelance as in independent producer to be able to spend more time with her son and help him with his sensory needs (as well as an autism diagnosis).   Upon celebrating the tremendous results that her son has had with Occupational Therapist, Britt Collins, Jackie decided to combine her career and passion for OT and created a DVD series to help other parents understand their children’s sensory needs.  The results have been overwhelming and rewarding.  Upon realizing that her son had sensory processing dysfunction, Jackie started facing her own sensory issues (mostly auditory) and has improved the quality of her own life. 

During the last two years, Jackie’s son has been mainstreamed into a standard public school system.  In this time, Jackie has noticed that many of the typically developing children have sensory issues as well.  Parents who watch their DVD series who have typical kids are applying the same information to their children and so the book about parenting was born. 


Additional information about the authors:  Jackie and Britt are a successful team due to Britt’s knowledge working with kids and Jackie’s efforts with her own child and other parents.  Britt is very technical and lists the facts, while Jackie translates this into a language parents can easily understand and utilize. 

Together, Jackie and Britt have recently founded the non-profit organization Special Needs United ( which focuses on Occupational Therapy for lower income and Spanish speaking communities that might not have as much access to these benefits.  Their overall plan is to develop occupational therapy products that they take to market to insure that the organization is not dependent on charitable donations alone.


Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction to the Seven Senses xix

Chapter 1 Preparing for Baby 1

A Sensory-Friendly Nursery 3

Organizing Your Home 11

Vaccines 16

Chapter 2 Your Newborn (0-6 Months) 19

Bonding with Your Baby 19

Bathing, Changing, Diapers, Dressing, and Swaddling 25

Baby in Motion 31

Feeding Your Baby 35

Sleeping 42

The Importance of Tummy Time 49

Play 51

Developmental Milestones, 0 to 6 Months 55

Chapter 3 Baby Life (6 Months to 1 Year) 59

Rolling Over, Sitting Up, and Reaching 59

Crawling-Motor Planning 61

Activities and Technology 62

Teaching Your Baby Sign Language 69

Play 70

Development Milestone, 6 Months 1 Year 74

Chapter 4 Toddler Time (1 to 2 Years) 77

Baby Learns to Walk 77

Baby's Sensory Systems 81

Sleep Cycles Change 90

Play 92

Development Milestones, 1 to 2 Years 96

Chapter 5 Baby's Caregivers 103

Babysitters, Nannies, and Daycare 103

Siblings and Other Family Members 113

Pets 115

Stay-at-Home Mom (or Dad)! 122

Mommy Goes to Work (Pumping, Guilt, and Alone Time) 126

Chapter 6 Growing Up (2 to 3 Years) 131

Your Not-So-Terrible 2-Year-Old 131

Communicating with Your Child 138

Choices: My Way or My Way 142

Potty Training 144

Toddler Hygiene 152

Your Toddler Sleeps 158

Social Skills 161

Tantrums, Discipline, Redirecting, and Prevention 165

Outings 172

Play 185

Developmental Milestones, 2 to 3 Years 197

Chapter 7 Evaluating Your Child's Senses 201

Is Your Child Hyper-or Hyposensitive? 201

Will He/She Grow out of It? What If I Ignore It? 205

Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration 205

Does My Child Have SPD, Autism, or ADHD? 210

Auditory Processing Disorder 223

Chapter 8 Therapies for the Senses 227

The Mouth 227

The Eyes: Light Therapy 233

The Nose: Aromatherapy 234

Music Therapy 236

The Ears 242

The Skin: Baby Massage 246

Acupressure 248

Chapter 9 Environmental Factors 251

Toxins in Your Home 251

Diet 257

Food Allergies and Intolerances 264

Chapter 10 Medical Concerns 271

Preemies 271

Hospital Stays 277

Cerebral Palsy, Hypotonia, Mental Retardation, and Seizures 282

Epilogue 285

Appendix A Parent Survey 287

Appendix B Must-Have Baby Kit 303

References 305

Resources 307

Index 311

About the Authors 319

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