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Below are links to websites or handouts as well as book suggestions that you may find helpful if you are a parent or caregiver, a teacher, counselor, or a health professional with a relationship with a child with sensory, emotional, psychological or behavioral difficulties.

Sensory Processing General

Smiling Baby
  • is a fantastic website with lots of great resources. See this page for a great description of sensory processing. 

  • The Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder has a wealth of information and resources 

  • Growing Hands on Kids is a great website that has all kinds of practical strategies and ideas for different areas of child development and has some blog posts on different sensory topics as well as some recommendations for books and resources to check out. 

  • The Spiral Foundation has a free downloadable comprehensive PDF- "A Guide to Sensory Integration for Parents" that goes through the common sensory terminology you might come across, signs to look for, what an assessment and treatment might look like, and strategies for home. Keep in mind that there are different schools of thought around sensory integration and different trainings for OTs so your child's assessment or treatment might not look exactly the same, though its always good to do some research and ask questions!

  • This website has tons of information and resources!

  • The inspired treehouse also has a lot of great explanations and tips

  • Child mind institute has a wealth of resources including some about sensory processing and sensory processing disorder

  • is a good resource for general child development, and they have some resources for parents regarding sensory processing and development

Books for Parents 

  • “Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies” Teresa Garland 

  • “Sensory Processing 101” - Dayne Abraham et al.  

  • “Sensational Kids”- Lucy Jane Miller 

  • “Raising a Sensory Smart Child”- Linsey Biel 

  • “Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids and Teens”- Lindsey Biel (this book is titled "clinical work", but has tons of practical strategies for every day situations)

  • “The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every day”- Dayna Abraham 

  • “The Out of Sync Child” - Carol Stock Kranowitz 

Children's books 

  • “A Boy Called Bat” 

  • “Ellie Bean the Drama Queen” 

  • “My Great Big Feelings: A story for Sensitive Children” 

  • “Listening to my Body: A guide to helping kids understand the connection between their sensations (what the heck are those?) and feelings so that they can get better at figuring out what they need."

  • “Why does Izzy Cover her Ears: Dealing with Sensory Overload” 

Emotional Regulation

Happy Family

Here are some great books for helping understand your child and their emotions along with great evidence based strategies for responding to big emotions and difficult behaviours, along with general parenting strategies for raising kids who are resilient, confidence, and can self regulate:

  • Connected Parenting: How to raise a great kid- Jennifer Kolari. This book describes Jennifer's CALM technique, which is an empathetic, attuned way of responding to big emotions and helping your child regulate. She also has a website with great resources. 

  • The Whole Brain Child- Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. This book helps you understand your child's brain development, why they act the way they do, and how to best respond to their big emotions and difficult situations in an age appropriate way. 

  • No Drama Discipline: the whole brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child's developing mind- Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. Similar to the CALM technique, this book gives tons of practical strategies and examples for how to best respond to big emotions, based on current neuroscience and child brain development. Here is a cheat sheet if you don't feel you have time to read this amazing book right now. 

  • Good Inside: A guide to becoming the parent you want to be- Dr. Becky Kennedy. I loved this book. It's comprehensive and full of practical strategies around responding to behaviours, building resilience, setting boundaries, and so much more. She also has a great podcast and workshops. Here is her website. 

  • Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child's Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore- Hoffman et. al. This book is great for understanding your child's emotions and practical strategies for building a secure attachment. 

Executive functioning and ADHD

Brainstorm to Success

Executive functioning is our “higher brain” thinking and controls skills such as self regulation, managing and responding to emotions appropriately, impulse control, organizing one’s self, problem solving, planning, starting tasks, sustaining attention, and more. Executive functioning difficulties are common with diagnosis’ such as ADHD and FASD, among others, and can affect all aspects of a child’s daily life. See below for some helpful resources:

  • Rolling with ADHD has an 8 module series for caregivers as well as a video resource library for teachers with tools and strategies for "rolling with ADHD". Put out by the BC children's hospital. 

  • The Centre on the Developing Child through Harvard University has THIS activity guide with different activities divided by age for helping develop executive functioning skills. 

  • Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential is a book full of practical strategies and examples for parenting kids with ADHD. There is also a Smart but Scattered: Teens (and Adults!)

Resources for Schools

In the Classroom
  • Heavy work activities use the body against resistance and help calm an overstimulated child or energize an under stimulated child. They can be integrated throughout your child's day. Click here for a PDF list of heavy work activities for school. 

  • The Classroom Sensory Strategies Toolkit- TONS of activities to help with regulation in the classroom, created by Colleen Beck, OT.

  • Calm down kit: Visual strategies, PECS, and social stories for students

  • Beaconhouse has some fantastic resources on developmental trauma and attachment disorders and what those look like in the classroom and as well has resources. 

  • Making Space for Learning- a helpful resource on trauma and trauma informed practice in schools

  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has a great toolkit for educators 

Local Mental Health Services

Kids in Preschool
  • The Government of BC website: has list of local Mental Health services for children and teens including a list of sites with walk in access to mental health clinicians. 

  • E-mental health: a search engine to find different mental health professionals across Canada. Also find info sheets and screeners for different mental conditions. 

  • BC children's hospital: a variety of assessment and treatment services. 

  • The Canadian Mental Health Association: an information page on childhood mental illness, what it may look like, and what to do about it. There's also links to different services in BC. 

  • Youth in BC: A list of 24 hour crisis lines as well as an online chat for youth in crisis.

  • Sources: A local non profit organization providing a variety of supports for families, including behavior support and consultation, early childhood development, counselling, FASD key workers, youth mental health services, and help with meeting basic needs such as food, housing and employment. 

  • Vine youth clinic: Free mental health and health care services for youth in white rock

  • the PACE program: A Vancouver based program that does outreach support in childcare spaces, has an intensive child and family program for preschool aged children, child therapy services, and services to help with transitions between families. 

  • Family Services of Greater Vancouver: A not-for-profit service providing counseling and other services such as parent groups and programs, life skills supports for children with special needs, parent-teen mediation, employment assistance, and more. 

  • The Children's Foundation: An organization working in Vancouver and area to help vulnerable and traumatized children through counselling, day programs, specialized school programs, parent support and education, foster parent support and more. 

  • Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society: A non profit offering a variety of support, cultural, and wellness services for Aboriginal families in the Fraser Valley

  • Psychology Today: Search for local counselors or other mental health professionals

  • Counselling BC: Search engine for local counselors 

  • The Asante Centre has services and supports for children and families affected by FASD

Mental Health Resources

Mother and a Child
  • Complex Trauma Resources is a resource centre and online community for parents, caregivers, and professionals living and working with children who have experienced complex trauma

  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network- information and resources on childhood trauma and trauma therapies

  • Child Trauma Academy- information on child development, neurodevelopment and childhood trauma

  • Family Smart: an organization that provides families with opportunities to speak with other parents that have children with mental health struggles to provide information regarding system navigation, services, and resources. They have monthly education sessions and a resources page with lots of helpful information for families. 

  • Kelty Mental Health: a project of BC Children's hospital that provides a wealth of information, resources, and peer support. 

  • The Canadian Mental Health Association: an information page on childhood mental illness, what it may look like, and what to do about it. There's also links to different services in BC. 

  • Foundry: A site for youth and young people providing a variety of information on mental health and wellness as well as guidance for accessing services and support

  • Mood Disorders Association of BC: has guidance for families dealing with mental illness and links to various resources

  • Here to help: a family toolkit, providing information and resources regarding supporting a family member with mental illness

Regulation Strategies

Kids Running
  • Brainstem calmers are activities that are repetitive, patterned, and rhythmic,which help to regulate the nervous system and calm a hyperactive stress response. Some examples are drumming, marching, swinging, tapping, or doing any other sensory activity to music or a rhythm. See here for more information. 

  • Heavy work activities use the body against resistance and help calm and overstimulated child, or energize an under stimulated child. They can be integrated throughout your child's day. Click here for a list of heavy work activities for home and here for a list of heavy work activities for school. 

  • Purposeful, goal directed movement is more calming than random movement. See here for ideas. 

  • A sensory diet is a way to integrate calming strategies throughout your child's day. See here for more information or here for some example activities. 

  • See here for a variety of simple sensory actvities that can be used to distract a child from what is bothering or to calm them when upset. 

  • Grounding activities help calm a stress response through bringing awareness from anxious thoughts to the body or the environment. See here for a list of grounding activities. 

Sexual Abuse Prevention and Resources

Child Model
  • Kids in space is a free workbook to go through with kids to help them learn about things such as what does "safe" feel like, safe grownups, trust (what is it, and how can you know someone is trustworthy?), saying no, secrets vs surprises (or what secrets shouldn't be kept), being the boss of your own body, personal bubbles, changing your mind (and how thats okay), and more! 

  • saprea is another great resource with tons of information regarding how to help prevent sexual abuse, including a page with "little talks"- giving ways to talk about bodies, boundaries, and sex with different ages of kids. 

  • "My Body! What I Say Goes!" by Jayneen Sanders is a great book for kids that teaches about body boundaries, safe and unsafe touch, body signs that you might be feeling uncomfortable, developing a safety network, and the difference between secrets and surprises. The author also wrote 'No Means No!' and 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept'.

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