Fuzzy Buzzy Groups for Children with Developmental and Sensory Processing Difficulties – Fiona Brownlee and Lindsay Munro
A group based on sensory experiences designed for children with developmental and sensory processing difficulties which is theme around the idea of a teddy bears picnic. This book is basically the step-by-step guide to setting up and running the group.
There are always groups and interventions designed for children with special educational needs or disabilities, but this one is a bit different and could actually be quite a lot of fun for the children in the group. The plans for the group are very low cost (especially with some hunting around in storage cupboards in schools) and the book covers everything from getting parental permission through to running the group and documenting outcomes.
The book provides some background information on sensory processing, stages of child development, and developmental delay – using this information to then suggest who might benefit from attending a ‘Fuzzy Buzzy group’. There was one bit where it commented on how the group might incidentally teach more socially appropriate responses than flapping, but overall the focus is on remembering that all children develop differently and respecting their sensory needs.
After the informational chapters, the book then covers the seven steps of the group, most of which are based around different sensory experiences such as walking along a sensory path that is covered in foam or jelly, or making a sensory drink by putting different flavours and ice cubes in a blender. It outlines how to run the group, when to play the different tracks on the supplied CD, and gives loads of ideas for different sensory experiences to put in each step. There’s more than enough ideas to last for the eight weeks that they suggest running the group.
At the end of the book is a resource list for those who want to develop their understanding further and all the printouts recommended for the group, including parental consent form, evaluation forms, assessment sheets and a few others. Really the only thing this book is missing is some guidance on how professional might evaluate the effectiveness of the group. It would have been improved with some clear examples, or maybe an example case of a child who experienced the ‘Fuzzy Buzzy group’.
Is it worth reading?
That does depend on whether you’re in a position where you want to set up a sensory group for the children you work with. I think this book is probably of most interest to those working in nurseries, schools, or other settings with children with special educational needs or disabilities; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering for other settings – including those with adults. Just because something isn’t “age appropriate” doesn’t mean people won’t enjoy it, just make sure to ask them first.