Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrating OT Month | Books written by OTs

 Today I'd like to continue the celebration of OT Month by highlighting some books that are written by occupational therapists. In putting this list together, it became apparent that OTs are prolific writers! This is by no means an exhaustive list, so please feel free to leave the title of your favorite book written by an occupational therapist in the comments section and I will add it to the post.

To start off, here are several books that I either have in my own "OT library" or have borrowed from my local library. I have read these books, used the ideas and activities in them, and recommended them to families, teachers, and other therapists.

Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsey Biel, MA, OTR/L & Nancy Peske | This book is packed with practical, and easy to implement sensory strategies for a variety of situations that families and children will encounter in their everyday lives.

Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR & Doris Fuller | This easy to read book describes Dr. Miller's approach to treating children with sensory processing disorder using the acronym, A SECRET, which stands for Attention, Sensation, Emotional regulation, Culture, Relationships, Environment, and Tasks.

Living Sensationally by Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR | This book is interesting because it is written in layman's terms to describe how individual sensory patterns affect they way you react to everything throughout your day. This book is definitely geared toward adults who have no previous knowledge of sensory processing and who want to understand why they react the way they do to their environments.

Tools for Tots by Diana Henry, MS, OTR/L, Maureen Kane-Wineland, Phd, OT/L, & Susan Swindeman, OTR/L | This thin book is packed full of practical sensory tips to help toddlers and preschoolers get through their days. I use this book all the time in early intervention when educating parents and helping parents figure out ways to make daily tasks, like bath time, clipping nails, cutting hair, and brushing teeth, with their toddlers a little easier.

Self-Care with Flair! by Ginger McDonald, OTR/L & Bhanu Raghavan, MS, OTR/L | This is a book that I just picked up at the AOTA Conference a few weeks ago, and I am so glad that I did! This book contains a step by step approach for self care tasks, with pictures and rhymes. I can tell that this is a book that I will be using all the time!

Retro Baby by Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L | This is a great book that offers simple strategies for parents to get back to the basics and to avoid the overuse of baby gear. A great book for any OT working in early intervention to have in their library to lend to parents.

From Rattles to Writing by Barbara Smith, MS, OTR/L | This is a guide written for parents and it provides a great overview of developmental stages, as well as activities to help promote skill development at each stage.

Fine Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome by Maryanne Bruni, BScOT (Reg) | This is a great resource that covers fine motor development. While this book is specific to Down syndrome, I find that the information and tips are applicable to many children with developmental delays.

Just Take a Bite by Lori Ernsperger, PhD & Tania Stegen-Hanson, OTR/L | This is an informative, and easy to understand book on feeding issues. A great resource for parents.

Learning in Motion by Patricia Angermeier, OTR, Joan Krzyzanowski, OTR, & Kristina Keller Moir, OTR | This book is full of great sensory motor activities designed to be used in a preschool or kindergarten setting. With activities categorized by month, I frequently used this book when I was co-teaching in a preschool classroom. The preschool teacher loved it so much that she bought a copy of the book too!

And if that list wasn't long enough, here are some books that are on my wishlist. I haven't read these yet, but they look great!

No Longer A SECRET by Doreit Bialer, MA, OTR/L & Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR | This book appears to be a follow-up to Dr. Miller's Sensational Kids. While there is probably some overlap between the two books, I would still like to take a look at this book.

Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens by Lindsey Biel, MA, OTR/L | This looks like it is a follow-up to Raising a Sensory Smart Child, with an emphasis on older children and teenagers.

Understanding Your Child's Sensory Signals by Angie Voss, OTR/L | I suspect that this book is similar to Sensational Kids or Raising a Sensory Smart Child, but I would still like to take a look at this book, because it gets outstanding reviews on Amazon. Looks like another great sensory resource! (P.S. As I was putting this post together, I noticed that Shasta just wrote about this book and how awesome it is!)

Active Imagination Activity Book by Kelly Tilley, OTR/L | This looks like it is full of fun activities that an OT could share with parents to incorporate sensory activities into their daily routine.

101 Games and Activities for Children with Autism, Asperger's, and Sensory Processing Disorders & The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book, both by Tara Delaney, MS, OTR/L | I know teachers who have attended seminars by Tara and they had nothing but great things to say about the experience.

Your Child's Motor Development Story by Jill Mays, MS, OTR/L | So many of the books on this list are focused on sensory issues, so I like that this is one that focuses on motor development.

One more reader recommendation!

Eyegames: Easy and Fun Visual Exercises: An OT and Optometrist Offer Activities to Enhance Vision! by Lois Hickman, MS, OTR, FAOTA & Rebecca E. Hutchins, OC, FCOVD | I love that this book is a collaboration between and OT and a behavioral optometrist. Looks like a great resource! Thanks for sharing, Katherine!

Have you read any of these books? How about the books on my wishlist? What did you think of them? What books  by occupational therapists would you add to this list?

*Amazon links throughout are affiliate links.


  1. Hi, Abby! Thanks for sharing this great list of resources written by OTs. I'd like to add one called "Eyegames: Easy and Fun Visual Exercises," co-authored by Lois Hickman, MS, OTR/ FOATA and Rebecca Hutchins, OD. I will share your list:)

    1. Thanks for sharing, Katherine! This looks like a great book. I just updated the list to include it!


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