Interview and Giveaway with Dr. Roya Ostovar (The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder)

I am very excited to be hosting Dr. Roya Ostovar, author of The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder on HLW3B today. Dr. Ostovar is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Ostovar Pediatric Psychology and Consultation in Belmont, Massachusetts (http://www.royaostovar.com/).

Her new book, The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder, provides much needed information on everything from the direction of new research to practical solutions for taking your sensational child on vacation – and, I am not kidding when I say this, virtually everything in between.

I am sure you are not surprised to hear that I jumped at the chance to ask Dr. Ostovar more about Sensory Processing Disorder. Truly, how often do you get the chance to go straight to the doctor with your questions – no appointments, no co-pays, no nurses, no screening, no assessments– just straight to the doctor?! This was an opportunity I could NOT say no to!

I was also happy to find out that Dr. Ostovar's publisher, Future Horizons, was willing to give away TWO FREE COPIES of her book. Check out the bottom of the interview for details on how you could be a lucky winner!

And with that, grab your coffee, and let’s start the show.
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Please welcome Dr. Roya Ostovar to HLW3B – thanks for taking the time to talk with me and my readers!

Hello Hartley. First, I’d like to thank you and your readers for the invitation and opportunity to discuss this very important, current, and critical issue. Yours is such an informed and knowledgeable audience on this topic that I really look forward to hearing everyone’s feedback on my book and the information I have provided.

Thank you – I am always impressed by my readers’ knowledge and enthusiasm! I have had the great pleasure of reading your book and love that it offers such a comprehensive look at Sensory Processing Disorder, especially the examples of children in your private practice. Tell me about how you got into working with kids with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism.

I have been serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) for about 20 years now. However, I formally became educated and made a commitment to this field in 1997, when I enrolled in a post-doctoral fellowship program in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities at the UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital. Since then I have completely dedicated my work and practice to understanding and helping kids with various developmental issues, particularly Autism and SPD.

How did that experience turn into a book?

I felt compelled to write the book and share my knowledge and experiences with educators and other clinicians, in particular. It was truly heartbreaking to see kids who had either not been diagnosed at all or who had been misdiagnosed and had been given the wrong treatment plan that they were supposedly “not responding well to.”

Just to give your readers an overview of what I do, a large part of my work involves diagnostic evaluations of children, birth to young adults. I have a particular interest and expertise in the diagnosis of very young kids as well as those kids labeled as “difficult to test and diagnose.” So, over the years, I have been able to identify differentiate SPD from the various look a like disorders and in doing so have gained a tremendous amount of experience on this topic. Because I also run a school and a camp for children with ASD and SPD and consult to various schools I have very hands on knowledge on what works and what does not work in practice.

Because the book is not a theoretical one, based on ideas that look great on paper, but have no practical application, I thought it may be welcomed by readers. Chapter6: How to help create a sensory -friendly classroom, for example, is based on my years of experience of actually doing just that, and learning first hand and by trial and error.

I really connected to the section on stress – how all information comes into our bodies as stress – and for our kids that input is just more stress on an already over-stressed system. Will you tell us briefly about how stress affects the overall functioning of our children?

This is a completely new idea in the field of SPD, at least as far as I know. I thought about SPD as a form of stress because after working with kids with this disorder for so many years, it occurred to me that they are, in essence, functioning much like an individual with chronic stress. This is especially true of the kids who easily get over-stimulated and experience all incoming sensory information in an amplified way.

Stress, of any form, takes a toll on one’s system, it is exhausting, and it interferes with all areas of functioning. It is almost like being in the fight or flight mode all the time, having to be alert, hyper-vigilant, and aware at all times. There may be increased arousal and an inability to fully calm down and relax because of the chronic psychological distress. There has to be constant planning and anticipation of what may be coming up. Just so that everyone can relate to this, think of SPD as a variation on and an exaggeration of a universal condition. We have all been there at one time or another, but the intensity and frequency is different in SPD.

Everyone I know struggles with the question, “Is it sensory or is it behavior?” What tips do you have for us parents that will help us determine when our children are just being kids and when the behavior is really a sensory reaction they cannot control?

This is an important question and I have tried to answer it both directly and by using case examples throughout the book. Essentially, parents and caregivers have to think much like a detective, and try to figure out the cause of a behavior. Behavior is a form of communication. “ What is my child trying to tell me with their behavior?,” parents must ask. Once you have “detected” the cause of the behavior, you can distinguish sensory vs. behavior problems. A quick general tip is to look for sensory causes for any of the problem behaviors that “appear out of nowhere.”

There is a comprehensive list of resources in your book, as well as a great developmental check list and a sample developmental history form, all of which will greatly benefit parents of special kiddos like mine. For new parents just attempting to answer the question, “What is going on with my kid?” this can all be very overwhelming. Where do you suggest they start?

Chapter 5 of the book walks parents step-by-step through this process and simplifies what feels so overwhelming initially for many parents. But, briefly, make a list of your concerns and share them with a health service provider. Parents know more about their kids than anyone else, so don’t give up or feel embarrassed if the first person tells you it’s nothing. If you truly feel that something is not right persist until someone is willing to listen and help.

Tell us where we can buy your book – and about any upcoming events or special projects you have going on. Also, for all my readers in Massachusetts, where can they learn more about your practice?

The book is now available online and in bookstores. It can be ordered directly from Future Horizons at http://www.sensoryworld.com/ or purchased at Amazon.com, Borders and Barnes and Noble stores (both online and in stores). All the news and information about my practice and upcoming events is available at http://www.royaostovar.com/.

Thanks again Roya for taking the time to talk with us here at HLW3B. I appreciate the opportunity to learn from you and have truly enjoyed reading your book, The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder.

It was my pleasure. Thank you very much for this great opportunity.
___________________

Now for the free part!

Future Horizons is giving away TWO COPIES of The Ulimate Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder!!


Here is how you can win:

1. You will need to follow the SPD Blogger Network (publicly through Google located on the lower of the right column) by clicking HERE.

2. Then come back to HLW3B and post a comment here letting me know you did so! :)

OK, once you have followed and commented, you are officially entered.

The contest will run from Wednesday 4/13/11 to Friday 4/29/11 and will end at 10pm PST. The winner will be selected by random drawing, and notified by email.

I sincerely wish you all the best of luck -- as no matter how far along in your SPD journey you are, this book truly offers a great perspective and a 'brush up' on your skills.
H

50 comments:

Casey said...

I soooo need this book. I am following the SPD network!

Carmen said...

I follow the SPD network :)
and as the mom of a newly diagnosed kiddo (about 10 days ago) I can use all the info I can get my hands on.

Our Side of the Mountain said...

I'm a follower! Sounds like a GREAT book! One to add to my To Buy list! (Perhaps I'll win a copy! LOL)

Jessy

Hollie said...

I follow too!!
I would love to receive a copy of this book, as we are all alone here in Nova Scotia- there are no specialists here. In fact, our doctor hadn't even heard of SPD. We have been waiting months for a referral to a Pediatrician. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about my daughter's sensory struggles on my own, and informing medical professionals along the way.
I am particularly interested in the 'stress' idea- this is how I would describe my daughter's emotional state almost all the time. She seems chronically stressed. Before I knew of SPD it worried me how her reactions to EVERYTHING were so extreme for her age. So I would love to learn more from this Dr. Ostovar.

Kathy said...

I've been following your SPD network on FB and now on Google. Would love to be entered to win. With a recent stressor in my daughter's life, she regressed almost 100% to how things were in the beginning. It's been awful and I need all the help I can get.

jacquieclarke said...

I am a follower of the SPD network as well. This book would be an invaluable tool to our family.

lisa said...

Hello!!!!
Greetings from another crazed SPD mom :). Nice article, looking forward to the book.

Lisa

jacquieclarke said...
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Maya said...

I definitely need a copy! Thanks for the giveaway! I am a new GFC follower.

marfmom at gmail dot com

Sasha said...

I follow the SPD network. This is a great giveaway!

adee4 said...

I Follow too! The book would help sooo much...Thanks for interview.

Melissa said...

I'm following the SPD network on Google. We're just beginning to work on diagnosis. This is a very complicated thing! This sounds like a great book and if I don't win I will definitely be purchasing it.

Mom2Kaia said...

*DEVOTED* follower of the SPDBN!

Thanks for the great interview :-) XOXO, Karla

Jodi V. said...

I follow and am grateful to be connected to the SPD community. The book sounds excellent.

Jodi V. said...

I follow and am grateful to be connected to the SPD community. The book sounds excellent.

ycleveland said...

I follow and would love to have the book as a resource for my support group! :)

mama p said...

~follower~ !
And of all the books on SPD I took out of my library, this is the one I love best. What a great help! I'd love to win one :) Thank you for offering it, and for the interview.

Norwexworks said...

I have 2 sons with SPD and would really like this book. All my knowledge has come from the Internet and would love a copy of your book to have in my hands,,

Mama Bear said...

I'm a follower. Thanks for doing the interview. You asked just what I would have. We're nearly 6 months into our twins' diagnosis and I still feel like a newbie.

Jesse said...

I am a follower and would love the book.

Thomas_Wayne said...
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Lynette H. said...

I'm a follower. This book would be so useful to me for my little monkeys!

Hi! I'm Beth. said...

I'm a follower and this book sounds fantastic!

Sarah said...

I follow the SPD network. :) I really like what I'm hearing about this book. Thanks so much for this interview!

agear said...

I follow the spd network. My son and I both have sensory issues and I would love to add this to my book library.
April

Deanna said...

I'm a follower! Awesome interview!

kgrenier12 said...

I am at the beginning stages of getting information on my son's SPD who also has ADHD and working with his school's IEP.

So glad to have found your blog - found it by visiting trydefyinggravity blog.

Trying to navigate my bearings with SPD and am interested in Dr. Ostovar's book.
Thank you!

kerri0413 said...

I joined. I have been following you and the SPD Bolling Network for quite a while.

I would love this book to share with my support group and my child's teachers in addition to wanting it for me personally.

mary said...

I am a follower and would love to have this book!

Melissa Taylor said...

I am a follower and subscriber.

Patty O. said...

I follow the SPDBN (and totally love it, btw!)

Thanks for doing this interview!

Martianne said...

We're officially following the SPD Network now even if I have been failing to write for it lately. (Swept up in the fun of life...) would love to win the book as a resource! Thanks!

Lou said...

Hi, I'm now following the SPD network!
Dr. Osotvar has done such amazing work, I would love to win a copy of her book!

Yvette said...

I'm an SPD Blogger Network follower and I'd love to win this book!

Sila said...

I followed :) I'd be interested to read this book, I'm still learning about my own sensory issues and how my body reacts to things.

Jennifer said...

I really really need this book!!! Following the SPD network....you both are awesome!!

GrammyMouseTails said...

I am a new follower to SPD and also signed up for your email updates as well. I have a grandson with sensory disorder and need to educate myself in this disorder and ways I can help as well. thank you!
Faythe @ gramousetails ATgmail .com

Jaimee said...

I follow the SPD Blogger Network. I would love to read this book!

Holly said...

I am following the SPD network and could really use this book. Also dealing with SPD, Autism, Bipolar and Adoption!

Courtney said...

I am following on HLW3B and SPD network. I am currently in a teacher education program working on my Master's and Autism certificate. This will be very helpful as a new teacher with years in the field as a paraeducator.

A (Daily) Woman said...

Follow SPD Blogger on GFC

Book said...

Hi! It's My So-Called Sensory Life writing and I am a SPD network followerer/member. I am entering to win one of the free books. We could really use it. Thank you!

Mamma2boys said...

Been following the SPD Blogger Network-and submitted articles ;) I just ordered the book on Amazon-but would love to share this with friends of mine or even with teachers at a conference I am presenting at (on SPD!) in August.

Linda said...

I just signed up to follow spd blogger network - love to win this book

outoftheazul said...

I'm following the SPD network now! Thanks for the great interview. Would love to win this book!

Hartley said...

Thank you all for the entries!

I just want to note that there are 45 entries here - but only 34 followers via Google on the SPDBN - so some of you haven't satisfied the entry rules - please do not get disqualified on this small technicality - PLEASE double check that you are following the SPDBN via GOOGLE CONNECT.

Thanks all - and good luck - this is an awesome book!

Hartley

Modern Mom Redefined ((Kelsi)) said...

WOW! Great interview... sounds like a fantastic book!

I'm a new follower, come say hi & check out my giveaways for Autistic parents (one up now and another coming soon) @ ModernMomRedefined.blogspot.com

Stacey said...

I am following, and enjoying! I would love the book.

mollykiely said...

I'm a longtime Hartley lurker and now an official SPDNetwork follower!

Thanks for a great interview -- chronic stress is the perfect description.

I'd like to mention to any newly diagnosed moms that since we've gone gluten-free (me & dad too), kiddo's freak-outs and stress level have diminished considerably...

dizzy_mom said...

I am a follower, advocate and mom. Knowledge is power! Thanks, Hartley!