The book is comprised of stories and photos from therapists and parents.
Animal-assisted therapy stories about animals helping children (including some with autism) and adults who have sensory processing issues. Many therapists are using animals to assist in their treatment of children and adults with positive results. Animals with sensory processing issues and simple techniques people have used to help them. The authors are hoping to raise people's awareness about sensory processing issues and the possibility that some animals' behaviors might be related to these issues. Sensory Tools for Pets: Animals and People Helping Each Other has been developed to help pet owners and animal lovers understand how helpful animals can be in their interactions with people. This includes children and adults with disabilities, either physical or neurological, and/or with sensory processing difficulties.
While collecting stories to share about animal assisted therapy, the authors received many additional stories from therapists and pet owners who were using their training and knowledge of "sensory systems" to deal with sensory processing issues of their animals. The forward in this book was written by a veterinarian who used many of the techniques described in the book when rescuing cats and dogs after hurricane Katrina. He spoke to Diana after his return home to tell her how amazed he was by being able to use some of the sensory strategies from the book, and how they had really helped to calm some of the animals he was attempting to rescue.This book is about sensory issues and the human-animal interaction. Each human and each animal processes sensory information, but some people and animals appear to process sensations in an organized manner and others do not. Based on the work of Dr. Jean Ayres, research with children has continued to evolve in sensory integration (Ayres, 2005), sensory processing (Dunn, 1999, Hanschu, 2000) and sensory processing disorders (Miller, 2006). People process sensations on a continuum. However, the people and animals in this book appear to process sensations atypically, outside of this continuum. This causes interference with their ability to perform daily functions.
Sensory Tools for Pets: Animals and People Helping Each Other is comprised of stories describing how people have helped animals that exhibit various types of behaviors which look similar to sensory issues seen in humans. Although research linking animals to sensory issues is ongoing (Williams, 2003, Grandin, 2005), this book is not based on research. The authors' hope is that sharing these stories will raise awareness about possible explanations for an animal's conduct other than purposeful misbehavior.
"As a person with autism, I can really relate to using joint compression and deep pressure to help animals calm down. Lots of good ideas that can really help pets."--Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
"With every page I read, Sensory Tools for Pets made me smile with gratitude. It is such confirmation of the relevance of sensory integrative theory and the importance of the healing bond between us, the human animal, and the other creatures on this poor battered planet!"--Lois Hickman, MS, OTR, FAOTA, expert in sensory integration and owner of JenLo farm, an organic farm and SI clinic where the land and the animals are valued partners in work with children and adults.
41 pages. 2006