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Sensitive Sam by Marla Roth-Fisch~A Review With My Grandchild

Eh! Ania you’re back from school. Look, I brought that book, Sensitive Sam that I was telling you about. Remember I told you that Sam is a real, little boy and that his mom wrote and drew the pictures in this story about Sam to help kids like you see they are not the only ones with icky picky feeling problems?

Let’s read it together and you can tell me how Sam and you are alike or if some of the things that bother you are different than what gives him a bad feeling.

The book is a great size and stays open easily; you hold it and we can each read a page. That gold circle on the cover means the book, Sensitive Sam, is the winner of the 2009 Book of the Year Award by Creative Child Magazine.

-Ania, do you think you can read these English words? I know you are only in grade 1 and you will only start learning English in grade 4, but your mom says you can already read in both languages.

Ania’s comments are written in italic.

The letters look like my teacher’s printing and they are big. There are only four lines to a page. I can look at the pictures of Sam first and almost guess what the words will say. Let’s look at all the pictures in the book first.

Grandmère, Sam is lucky to have a cute puppy. Look, even the puppy is afraid and sad when Sam is mad. The pictures are big with lots of colors and none of the pages are white. I can see many little lines and you told me before it means movement. Those circles going to a cloud mean what Sam is thinking. At the end, Sam’s face is happy and the puppy too. Okay you read first.

I never want to wear jeans either. They feel pretty much like what Sam says but most of all I find jeans always too tight.

Sam is hiding his eyes from the sun. In the morning when the sun is too bright and shines on me, even on my back, I don’t like it.

Just like Sam, I always have to have a soft scarf inside my winter jacket because the jacket does not feel good. Mom cuts the tags from my clothes but sometimes I wear them inside out because it feels better.

I love being on the soccer team but I hate everything I have to wear to play the game. The socks and pads are TOO tight. The uniform and shoes do not feel good at all.

(Note to all: Oh my, perhaps kids do not participate in activities/sports not because of the event but how they have to dress to go the event!)

This is not hard to read and it sounds like a poem with rhymes.

Sam’s head hurts also...I hate washing and combing my hair. Ah! perhaps brushing it like Sam would be better. Sam has a lot of curls.

I wonder if it is the smell of the eggs cooking that Sam does not like, or, like me, if it is the butter melting and heating in the pan. I do not like the smell of the toaster when it is on either.

Pineapples are the worst thing! I can’t be near them because of the smell and naturally I can’t have them in my mouth. So even if I love pizza, if pineapples have been added, the smell prevents me from eating a bite. I can’t just eat around the pineapple the smell is already in my nose. It is the same with dried raisins in cereal.

(Note to all: With kids who have Sensory Processing Disorder, it is not a good idea to place a small portion of what they generally do not eat on their plate to get them accustomed slowly to it. Kids with SPD cannot control how the smell of foods or the texture of foods makes them feel. Pick your battles and the dinner table should not be a battle field especially for the sake of the other family members.)

Sam does not like some sounds. I put plugs in my ears to get rid of some noises or I do not want to go to the movies at all.

Yup, Sam and I can’t stand having our feet wet. Wet feet make me feel not right… I do not like taking a bath nor even walking in the water along the shore. Sensitive Sam is a lot like me.

That’s a big word...Occupational therapy.... Why does Sam have to see her?

Read on and we will learn what the OT will do to help Sam.

“She talked to my parents and talked to me,

And gave us a list of activities.

The list was called a ‘Sensory Diet.’

It would help me with my sensitivities!”

I do not want to see an OT, mom tells me stuff but I guess it is all right for Sam.

Yes, Sam and Ania will probably be all right because caring parents figured out very early that they had Sensory Processing Disorder and found early intervention techniques to help them cope.

About the Author/Illustrator

The author and illustrator, Marla Roth-Fisch, her husband and two children, live near Denver, Colorado. Marla is on the board at the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation. A portion of the proceeds of Sensitive Sam benefit continued research and committed advocacy of Sensory Processing Disorder. Marla had twenty years marketing/writing experience before trying her hand at creating this delightful, children’s picture book.

In an on-line Interview with Chynna at Lily Wolf Word's Sensational Blogspace, Marla gave this advice to parents: “Take the time to speak with the primary care physician, talk with the teacher, search and learn from fabulous resource books such as: Sensational Kids; Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder, by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, and The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz. Get Sensitive Sam to open up the communications with your child.

Obtaining the proper diagnosis and treatment for your child and following through, can only yield better results. On-line resources are at your fingertips; at , and My web site has contact information, and a bundle of resources to link into…”

The last page of Sensitive Sam, Helpful Information for Parents and Educators, has a glossary and a list of websites of SPD resources.

As an educator with thirty years experience and a mom of three, I did not have the chance to share this great book with my students or family; but now, as the grandmother of five, it will surely be one of my read-aloud treats.

Publisher: Future Horizons Inc.

Price: $14.95

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 32

Views: 41


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Comment by Sue Wilkinson on October 23, 2010 at 8:24pm
YUP...I totally love Megan's World and Sensitive Sam! Lorna, you are so right on about the bullying comment. The kids most likely to be bullied according to a recent study...are kids with Special Needs. WHAT A WAKE UP CALL. Got other ideas for bullying????
Comment by Lorna d'Entremont on October 22, 2010 at 3:59pm
Thanks for telling us about Meghans World by Diane Renna. It is great that books on children's perspective about many Special Needs issues are being published. Through education will come compassion...a great tool against bullying!
Comment by Lorna d'Entremont on October 22, 2010 at 3:55pm
Thanks Sue for your kind comments about the review of Sensitive Sam that I did with my granddaughter who, like Sam, has sensory issues. Books of this nature lend themselves so well to be read and discussed with a child to show him/her they are not alone in the way they feel. Also it is a great teaching tool to be used in a classroom to raise awareness about the SN issues.
Comment by Cecilia Cruse on October 22, 2010 at 3:40pm
I agree! This looks great and I look forward to reading. In the meantime we also carry one of my favorite books on a child's perspecitve of a Sensory Processing Disorder: Meghans World by Diane Renna:
Comment by Sue Wilkinson on October 22, 2010 at 12:47am
Thank you Lorna and Ania for a fabulous annotated book review! Sensitive Sam will be featured in the Integrations catalog February 2011. What a delightful and valuable book.

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