If you’re the type of person that enjoys an easy-to-read, informative book, then Shelley Margow’s ‘Is This My Child? Sensory Integration Simplified’ is your book. I can truly say I enjoyed reading this and learned a lot in the process. Not only does Mrs. Margow pack the book with great and specific information on developmental sensory milestones and definitions, she also takes in to account your child. She lets you know the leniencies for varying age levels and differences in every child while affirming parents intuition of their child’s needs. She accomplishes this in a conversational manner that allows the reader time to process and be a part of the dialogue.
Mrs. Margow defines Sensory Integration as a term that “describes how the brain interprets, processes, and produces an output in relation to self and the environment.” She lays the foundation of sensory motor development saying that without a firm foundation, one creates impediments to motor coordination, speech development, and others that eventually effects neurological developments. She denotes the pliability of the brain, particularly in children, and how when these underlying needs are addressed, you allow the brain to create and retain neural networks.
One of my favorite parts of the book says, “therapy is highly specialized and expensive. It is not a quick fix and it requires emotional, financial, and time investments from the entire family. But the big difference between this type of intervention and medication is that [they] work and change the brain’s processing ability for the long term. It is not a temporary fix – it is powerful enough to change the brain through neuroplasticity.” I love this because of its applicability to music therapy. While not Sensory Integration Certified, it is my philosophy to take into account the whole child, which at its most basic level requires me to address sensory needs. Neuroplasticity also plays a large hand into music therapy. The concept is that throughout life, your brain is able to create new neural pathways that allow the brain to adjust for things like injury or disease. This is incredibly powerful when related to music and the idea that simply listening to music engages the parts of your brain that involve executive functioning, communication, auditory processing, social, emotional, stress response, motor coordination, and creative expression. When actively engaging these areas of your brain while participating in music therapy, you’re constantly teaching your brain new ways of how to relate one concept to another, while simultaneously addressing your sensory needs.
Is This My Child? Sensory Integration Simplified is a great resource for someone who is curious about the technique or beginning to have questions about their child’s development. I would also encourage you to grab the ear of a therapist at The George Center and ask questions about how music therapy is addressing all of these needs and more in your child.
Margow, S., MS.OTR/L. (2014). Sensory Integration Simplified. Parker, CO: BookCrafters.