When Things Get Too Loud written and illustrated by Anne Alcott is an excellent book about sensory overload. This picture book, which is visual in nature has the integration of the Feel-O-Meter, which helps children understand the intensity of their noise sensitivity. This book, written in rhyme takes children from low intensity (#1- feeling great) all the way through the high intensity with tips on strategies to help calm down and regulate.
When Things Get Too Loud includes a section on strategies for when things get too loud such as headphones, a weighted blanket, music, or rocking motion. There is also a section that each child can individualize by drawing what helps them. As a speech-language pathologist for over 20 years, I have had many students who are overwhelmed by loud noises. When this sensitivity isn’t addressed, children can become distressed which can manifest into negative behaviors or withdrawal. Recognizing and validating the sensitivity is key. Additionally, providing effective strategies to help a child is extremely important.
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Anne lives with her family among giant rolls of cheese, romantic canals, and loads of bikes in Utrecht, Netherlands. In her childhood she spent countless hours running through the Black Forest in Germany, imagining all sorts of fantastical creatures and enchanted portals to other worlds. After dabbling in theatre, visual arts, and designing children’s clothing her creative heart found the most fulfillment in telling stories for adults and children alike.
As a mother of a neurodiverse child, inclusivity and acceptance have high priorities for her. Crafting stories to show the beauty of diversity, help children cope with difficult situations is one way for her to try and erase the stigma around people who are “different”.