Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Do you have a kid with SPD? I do, I have 3!
Sensory overstimulation is common among kids who were premmie babies. Light and sound are the most common triggers, but they can be overstimulated by movement, scents, touch, taste, vibrations and electromagnetic fields.
For some kids, taking a few minutes time out will reset their system. For others, it doesn’t work that way. It can range from uncomfortable and intolerable.
Sudden strong overstimulation triggers an immediate surge of adrenaline, anxiety and sometimes nausea. Lower levels can creep up and the consequences can last a couple of days.
Now, imagine if this was you...at Christmas. The lights, sounds and busy crowds start way before the 1st of December these days. Christmas is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for some kids, it’s a constant battle to process the world around them.
What can we do to help?
It’s difficult to avoid, and really not fair to miss out on the fun of Christmas. Gradual increase in tolerance often comes with exposure and age, in a sensory friendly environment. This Christmas, if you are having an event at your work or home, maybe provide a tent or quiet corner for kids to retreat and reset.
If you see a child having a meltdown, don’t always assume it’s bad behaviour. It could be the world is just too bright or too loud at that moment. Respect a parent who is limited in what they can do to stop it.
We will be hosting a book launch on the 1st of December at Little Gnome for my latest picture book, Little Gnome’s Christmas Wish, a book about a little gnome with sensory processing disorder who loves Christmas but struggles with the lights, noise and crowds.
Children of all abilities are welcome to come and share an inclusive sensory friendly experience of the real meaning of Christmas, spending time with friends and family who love you and accepts you for who you are.
Thursday, 19 September 2019
Tell us about yourself, Joanna.
I am a Psychotherapist and Chartered Psychologist working with children, adults and families. I have worked in the field of mental health and personal development for thirty years. I work as an Expert Witness for the family court in the United Kingdom and am an Ofsted Registered Adoption Support and Intermediary Tracing Agency. I meet with families and children every day in my work and talk about their lives.
What inspired you?
Working in Child Mental Health for 30 years I realised that parents need support and have many questions about Child Mental Health. This book aims to answer these questions. It doesn’t help when parents get anxious about their child’s anxiety.
What has been your journey up to this point?
I have been a mum, a step mum and a Grandmother. These roles have all been important to me. I have been in the field of personal development for forty years with thirty of these in mental health.
What is the most important thing about what you do?
Helping people to understand their own mind as well as their child’s mind.
What are the challenges you face?
I love writing and I love my work with my clients. I have to manage my time really well. My diary is the main challenge of my life.
What advice can you offer to parents?
Don’t overfill your timetable. Try and remain calm and resolve one problem at a time. Remember that Minds matter and given time we can respond mindfully and effectively to resolve things that get in the way of family harmony and a productive life.
What is your definition of successful parenting?
Being mindful that every minute counts and that you are the source of learning for your child. Taking care of yourself so that your child absorbs mindfulness and calm from you.
What is your ultimate goal?
My contribution to my world is to support parents to raise children who contribute to a society that is more kind. I have to practice what I preach. This is a complex task. Sometimes we have to be tough and be kind. My goal in writing is that this information reaches out to more people more quickly and can help them change behaviour.
Contact Joanna North
Facebook: Joanna North.
Twitter: Joanna North 23
The book is available at good retailers and online, including Amazon and at
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Reading to your baby, especially when you aren’t able to touch them, not only lets them know you are there, it forms a bond that helps to fight the postnatal depression and PTSD experienced by parents of premature babies and babies in intensive and special care. I know. I was in that position, three times. I read to each of the boys when I wasn’t allowed to cuddle them and it made a huge difference.
That’s why I’m so blown away at being asked to the the Ambassador of the very first Life's Little Treasures Foundation Little Readers Readathon, as a Mum and an author. Best of all, Tommy gets to help, too!
Little Readers read-a-thon
Our Read-a-thon Ambassador