Whether it's having to remove tags from clothing or using special dimmed lighting when they study, kids with sensory disorders or special sensory needs often need adaptations in their everyday lives in order to find success in school and beyond. Taking a look at the most common sensory issues kids face, Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders offers a compilation of unique, proven strategies parents can implement to help their children move beyond their sensory needs and increase their performance on tasks like homework, field trips, transitions between activities, bedtime, holidays, and interactions with friends. Written by a parent of two children with very different sensory needs, the book shows parents how to characterize their child's sensory issues into one of several profiles that they can then use to find the best adaptations and changes to their everyday routines.
Varleisha D. Gibbs, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and author with 18 years of experience working with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing disorders and Neurological disorders. In 2003, Dr. Gibbs founded Universal Progressive Therapy, Inc., a company that provides interdisciplinary and quality therapeutic services to families. As founding president, she provided treatment interventions and education in the areas of sensory integration, autism as well as family-centered care. This venture ignited her passion for providing family-centered care. Dr. Gibbs received her PhD at Seton Hall University with a dissertation focusing on racial health disparities of the Autism Spectrum diagnostic process. Dr. Gibbs also earned her doctorate in occupational therapy at Thomas Jefferson University and her master's training in occupational therapy from Columbia University. Dr. Gibbs is currently the Vice President of Practice Engagement and Capacity Building at the American Occupational Therapy Association. She is the former Scientific Programs officer at the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Dr. also served as the inaugural chair and director of the master’s programs in occupational therapy at Wesley College in Dover, DE where she was a tenured associate professor. Prior to joining Wesley, she worked at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA, where she served as the director of the doctoral programs in occupational therapy.
Dr. Gibbs is steadfast and an expert in the field of neurology, cognition, and pediatric therapeutic intervention. She continues to lecture, and provide training, on sensory processing strategies and self-regulation to practitioners, parents, and teachers throughout the country and internationally. Dr. Gibbs is the developer of the Self-Regulation and Mindfulness program, and her book, Self-Regulation and Mindfulness: Exercises and Worksheets for Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, was published in 2017 (PESI Publishing & Media). As co-author of Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders, she has provided families with strategies to understand and care for their children.
Financial: Dr. Varleisha Gibbs is the founder/ president of Universal Progressive Therapy, Inc. She is a faculty member at the University of the Sciences Philadelphia and receives compensation. She is a speaker who receives an honorarium for PESI, Inc.
Nonfinancial: Dr. Varleisha Gibbs has been published in a peer-reviewed journal Occupational Therapy and Healthcare.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this presentation belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author's employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.
Rondalyn Varney Whitney, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is an occupational therapist, educator, and researcher with over 20 years of experience. Her work focuses on the family as a system and she specializes in pediatric mental health and reducing barriers to family quality of life for families of children with autism and related disorders. Dr. Whitney is a prolific author, including Nonverbal Learning Disorder: Understanding and Coping with NLD and Asperger's (TarcherPerigee, 2008); Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders (Prufrock Press, 2013); and Self-Regulation: A Family Systems Approach for Children with Autism, Learning Disabilities, ADHD & Sensory Disorders (PESI, 2014). She is a featured author in The Out of Sync Child Has Fun (TarcherPerigee, 2006), Sensory Focus Magazine, Today in OT and OT Practice.
Dr. Whitney presents nationally and internationally on ASD, sensory processing, family quality of life, therapeutic humor, social skills program development and related topics. She is a pioneer of innovative social programs which serve as a model for many programs utilized today. Dr. Whitney is a recognized leader in the American Occupational Therapy Association and a recipient of multiple awards for excellence. She is certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) and has an advanced practice designation in Feeding and Swallowing from the state of California. Dr. Whitney is an associate professor and chair of the OT Department at the Clarkson University in the North Country of New York. Her research interests are in family quality of life, family resilience, and sensory processing as a barrier or support to social participation.
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