Friday, September 25, 2020

Book Nook: Adventures of the Sensokids

Aventures of the Sensokids was written by  Pediatric Occupational Therapist and owner of OT Studios, Inc in Los Angeles, Dr. Reema Naim OTD, OTR/L discusses the book here.

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Dr. Naim noticed many families at her practice having difficulty understanding sensory integration and not fully grasping how much children rely on their senses to appropriately engage in daily activities. After discovering a real need to provide education on the sensory systems in order to overcome sensory challenges in a fun yet informative way, she went on to create the Adventures of the Sensokids series. Releasing on September 30th, the first book “Oh Messy Me” will address the sense of touch as we’re introduced to Nora who has decreased tactile sensory awareness and the Sensokids come to the rescue by choosing activities that will help her feel sensations better. This entertaining and interactive series is aimed at educating parents, educators and children ages 5-8 about their sensory “superpowers” and the important role they play in enabling us to navigate our environment. It also explores the way we interact with the world around us, and the impact any sensory challenges can have on our daily life.

Dr. Naim explains, “When children have difficulty understanding their own senses, they often display what appears to be labeled problematic behaviors, which can actually be neurological concerns related to inadequately processing sensory information.” By developing this new series, she hopes readers will:
  • Be better educated Occupational Therapy benefits for children diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, Autism and other disabilities, in particular parents, teachers and schools.
  • Recognize and understand the concept that humans possess seven as opposed to only five senses, and how those two extra senses enable body awareness, movement and balance, which are important for children as they navigate jungle gyms, playgrounds and learn to move their bodies for different activities.
  • Understand our senses and therefore reduce judgment amongst children in the classroom when they notice a classmate who may be dealing with a sensory related concern.
  • Fun activities introduced by the Sensokids so that children can be empowered to overcome sensory challenges and difficulties.
With each book in the series providing a new sensory challenge and a unique sensory education page for parents and teachers, it’s Dr. Naim’s hope that all children who are struggling with sensory issues can find a bit of themselves in the Sensokids and lead a happier and more fulfilled life.

You have such an inspiring road to publication. Can you tell us what motivated you to write a creative children series?
As a teenager, I was fascinated with the arts and wanted to pursue a career in film or animation. I dreamt of creating magical places where people could escape to. Coming from a conservative background, the entertainment world was not accepted with open arms. I was forced to find a plan B. Luckily, I was also passionate about understanding the human mind and helping people overcome trauma. This led me to complete my undergraduate degree in child psychology.

Can you explain some of the sensory issues you’ve been seeing in children with processing disorders as a result of COVID-19 related changes like virtual learning and mask wearing? Have you seen more issues arise and why do you think that is?
It’s harder to treat children with sensory concerns virtually as most of them need to be engaged in some sensory activities prior to being focused enough to sit in one spot and pay attention. At the clinic, we have lots of sensory equipment and can guide sessions better based upon that access. As far as mask wearing, we have had one client complain so far and its expected because many children with Autism are sensitive to touch so the sensations associated with wearing a mask can be bothersome. Also, children with autism have social communication challenges so it becomes even harder to read social cues.

You run a successful occupational therapy practice in Los Angeles called OT Studios LA. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do there and what you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of being able to unite the medical with the creative to build a therapy space for children! The Sensokids are what make us different, connecting therapy with animation!

What is next for the Adventures of the Sensokids, and when can we expect the rest of the series to roll out?
The plan is to release Book 2 within six months of the release of Book 1 and I’m hoping we can release all the books within the next year or two. 

Dr. Reema Naim, OTD, OTR/L moved to the U.S. from the U.K. and attended USC, where she pursued a career in occupational therapy. She graduated with her MA, OTR/L and OTD and started her own private practice, OT Studios, in West Hollywood, CA. She received her SIPT (sensory integration and praxis test) certification and created the Sensokids characters, whom she uses to educate children, families and students about sensory integration and the major role our sensory systems play in daily life. Adventures of the Sensokids: Oh Messy Me is her first book.

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