This is Gabriel, Making Sense of School: A Book about Sensory Processing Disorder

If you are a daily follower of my blog, then you know about Max.  I don't divulge a lot of personal information on my blog, I mainly stick to decorating & creating. However, every once in a while, my heart becomes full and I am moved to write about something personal.

Did you know that I don't believe in coincidences? I believe that everything happens for a reason and what sometimes feels like luck (or a coincidence) is really God's whisper.

As some of you know, my son Max was adopted from Russia. You also know by now that we have struggled with his development.  I have posted about Sensory Processing Disorder and how as a family we have battled this with Max.  My last post about SDP was written at 2 am. That night I went to bed with a heavy heart and could not sleep. I just had to get some of Max's struggles written down in a post. In fact, my last sentences of the post reads like this, "This post has been heavy on my heart, which probably means there is someone out there who needs to read this. I hope it helps....". It was not 5 minutes later that I received an email from someone who needed my words. That is what I call a whisper from God and not a coincidence. God new that I could help someone and he put the sequence of events into motion.

This is how I found the book "This is Gabriel".  God knew that I needed this book. He knew that Max would benefit from this book and now so will his school and special education teachers. Because I will be buying several copies of this book to give to others. I am doing this not because I am this nice generous person but because someone else out there needs me to. I am listening to God's whisper.

Now, with all this being said, here is my review of This is Gabriel: Making Sense of School.


by Hartley Steiner
Illustrations by Brandon Fall
ISBN: 978-1-4269-2777-5

Five years ago I had never heard of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Now that I have been entrenched with its meaning, I still find it hard to describe to others what SPD is and what effects it can have on children/families.  This book helps to make it clear. So, even though this is a children's book about Sensory Processing Disorder, adults will also gain invaluable knowledge.

I love the bright illustrations and the simplistic definitions of SPD that are described throughout the book. The book does a fantastic job discussing the main parts of SPD: Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell, Vestibular and Proprioception.

The author takes you on a journey of Gabriel's life and helps you to understand what happens when sensory input is misinterpreted. The authors writing style is easy to follow and even left me with "ahh-haa" moments.  

(This picture made me laugh because one of Max's biggest struggles is with smell)

Byron read this book to Max (age 6) and then tried to engage him in discussion. I will be honest, Max really did not care nor did he really have anything to say about Gabriel. I was hoping that Max would understand he was not alone with some of his feelings. But he was more interested in his Star Wars action figures than discussing SPD. So in all fairness, he is probably a little young for this book and discussion. As a mother, I am just glad this book was written. Because one day soon, Max will be ready to read and discuss SPD and I am so thankful to have this book.

I plan on buying Max's elementary school several copies and also the preschool he attended.  I will even make sure the special education department has their own copies. This book needs to be made available to anyone who works with children.

Hartley, I am so thankful you listened to your whisper and wrote this book. I needed it and now others will get a copy too.

From the Publisher: This is Gabriel Making Sense of School provides a look into the challenges children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) face in the classroom. This easy to read and beautifully illustrated picture book gives teachers, parents and students a better understanding of all seven senses, how they are each affected at school and what kinds of accommodations are necessary to help children with SPD become learning sensations!



Hartley Stiner can be found on her site: and Twitter: @ParentingSPD


Due to Hartley's generous nature, she is giving away 1 copy of This is Gabriel to one lucky commenter. Please leave me a comment with your email address (so I can contact you if you win) and if you feel it in your heart, please let me know if/how SPD has touched your life. If you have been lucky enough to never have heard of SPD then please consider entering so you can donate this great book to your local elementary school.

*Open to All, No PO Boxes.
*Contest ends Friday, April 23rd.


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