Friday, April 26, 2013


Thanks to everyone for stopping by our poster at AOTA. Here is the link to the STRENGTHS BASED COACHING handouts.
Strengths based coaching handouts

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Living Sensationally in multiple languages!

I just heard from the publisher that Living Sensationally is being produced in


SENSATIONAL for everyone!

Thanks to all the colleagues in these countries who are undoubtedly the engines that are getting these translations completed and published.

The more we all know the better life will be for everyone.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Jane Gotch Dance is producing a performance installation as part of the Charlotte St. Foundation's Urban Culture Project (Charlotte St. is a foundation that supports art in Kansas City]. As she says on her JANE GOTCH PRESENTS:

"through video, visual constructions, and live movement, the team investigates the human act of sensing. Our creative process will put to practice the research of Professor and Occupational Therapist, Dr. Winnie Dunn -- shaping a performance that utilizes each participants' [artist and viewer] referential world..."

They came upon the work of Living Sensationally and are applying the ideas to their craft. I am so honored to be part of this creative process.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Living Sensationally is on KINDLE!!!

I just found out that Living Sensationally is available on KINDLE. You can download the KINDLE app to your computer or phone; you don't have to have an actual KINDLE. How great to have sensory info at your fingertips! I love seeing the title page in an e- format... Makes me feel up to date ! Get an ecopy & think of me there with you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I got introduced to this interesting website called WORDLE. You enter words into the program, and it creates art for you out of the words. A teacher I know uses Wordle to create advanced planners of her units as she teaches her first graders [cool Julie!]; she made me one for my birthday with all my research and life words on it.

Today I made one from this blog! It searches for words and selects frequent words to be be BIG and other words to be smaller in the design. You can go to WORDLE and find 'Living Sensationally Wordls Art'. try this link too:

Friday, June 25, 2010


The Brazelton Infant Development Centre in Geneva sponsored a symposium early in June: "I sense, therefore I am" for providers and researchers interested in Infant Development and the relationships between young children and their parents and other caregivers.

I was one of the speakers, discussing how Sensory Processing affects our understanding of children's behaviors, and how our relationships with children are influenced by both the children's and the adults' sensory processing patterns. The core concepts in Living Sensationally formed the basis of my remarks.

It was my first experience with having an interpreter on stage with me [the course was in French]. I would say a paragraph or so, and then he would say it again in French. I sounded GREAT as a French man!!

People were very responsive, and wanted to know more... maybe Living Sensationally can get translated into French!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Last week Reji Mathew interviewed me for her blog which explores "Themes of Hope, Health, Disability, and Wellness". She had found Living Sensationally, and believes the messages about our sensory patterns can be helpful to everyone. It was such a great conversation, and in meeting her, I now know about her work and can follow her blog to find out other great projects that illustrate hope, health and wellness. Here is the link to our interview. While you are there, check out her other posts too!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I just got home from the World Federation of Occupational Therapy meeting in Santiago, Chile. It is so great to get a world view of one's profession, and to see how thinking is advancing from so many points of view!

A young therapist stopped to tell me a great story about Living Sensationally. She is completing a year of community service in Bangladesh, a country that provides intense sensory experiences because of the density of their population. She told me that some volunteers are overwhelmed and cannot complete their service, but that she has really loved the work and will be continuing there.

She stopped to tell me that on one particular trip, she was on a boat and reading Living Sensationally. People started asking her about it, and others started listening in. She eventually had more than a dozen people gathered around listening, an impromptu workshop! She told me that people found the information so helpful for their work in Bangladesh, and want to pursue using the information to help new volunteers with strategies to manage their sensory needs while in their service. Here is another way that knowing about one's sensory patterns can make life better!

I am so grateful to this young therapist for sharing her story.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Henry Stewart Talks creates collections of talks about various topics. The Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection includes a new series entitled: Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders: History, Diagnosis, Treatment and Outcomes [F. Volkmar, ed.]. These series are used as an educational resource by leading academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Here is the full citation of my talk about sensory processing, in case you are interested in further information. I am honored to be included with the most world renowned authors on these topics.

Dunn, W. (2010), "Sensory processing: a critical assessment area for autism spectrum disorders", in Volkmar, F. (ed.), Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders: History, Diagnosis, Neurobiology, Treatment and Outcome, The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks Ltd, London (online at


Thursday, February 4, 2010


I just found out from the publisher that Living Sensationally has been contracted to be translated into Hebrew. I was a visiting professor in Israel last year, so this news is particularly lovely for me. I loved spending time in Israel, and have some incredible colleagues there that I am still collaborating with today.

Since my goal is for the ideas in Living Sensationally to be everyday knowledge and sources of conversations around the kitchen table, I believe that this is one more step toward that goal!

Thanks to whomever initiated this project, and best wishes to you. I can't wait to see how it looks in Hebrew!

Friday, December 18, 2009


This week, I received my first copies of Living Sensationally translated into German... It is a really beautiful book, and it tickles me to see the words I wrote, but in another language!

Very early in the release of Living Sensationally, I participated in an interview for a German radio station, and I think this led to the interest in the book for local use. I am very grateful to the sequence of people that made this possible. "Leben mit den Sinnen"!!

Friday, December 11, 2009


I am almost at the end of my work day. I am going to dinner with friends, and then to see a play that promises to be very entertaining.

I love going to the theater because of the way that plays 'PLAY' with our senses. The set design invites us to imagine sensations that we are not actually having, but by tapping our memory of the sensory experiences, we become more involved with the actors and the story. For example, scenes of winter outside the windows of a cozy home remind us of our personal experiences with heat and cold. We might shiver or take our jackets off as we watch. Scenes about cooking might remind us of smells or tastes we have experienced, bringing thos memories into our experience.

I also love the experience the actors, director and others create for me. I have learned that I have sensory and emotional experiences whether the play is wonderful or marginal; engaging our minds to use what we experience in a new way can never be a bad thing.

Think about what ignites your senses; do something that taps your sensory memories this weekend. I will see you back here to find out about them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I have been talking for about a year now about making sure that people become aware of their sensory patterns, so aware, so commonly aware of them, that the 4 types [seeker, avoider, bystander, sensor] become common everyday language.

I keep searching for ways to accomplish my goal. Lots of great steps toward this goal have happened, including all the activities recorded on this blog. Now I think another action I can take is to write some information and suggestions about how to be a SENSATIONAL human being on this blog.

So, for today, think about the perfect situation for yourself to get some work done... Is it quiet, or do you need some background sounds? What position do you like your body to be in?--some people like to stand, lounge, while others are happy to sit. Each of these positions gives you different sensory input about your body, which is why certain positions are more satisfying for you. Do you stay still or move around a lot? Do you need a clear space, or can you have lots of things around and still concentrate? Do you have food or snacks or something to chew on while working? Every one of these choices generates sensory experiences for you! Make a SENSATIONAL work profile, and pay attention to your ability to concentrate, be productive and feel satisfied with your work.

Seekers are most likely to have a busy environment and change around a lot.
Avoiders are most likely to create an isolated work situation with very little distractions.
Sensors are most likely to create a tidy organized work space, and are challenged if the space is not just right.
Bystanders are the most easy going workers, and can focus even in busy environments because they are not distracted by other things.

Enjoy the sensations that make your work satisfying.

Friday, July 17, 2009

AMC Theatres has a program called "Sensory Friendly Films", which provides a special showing time for selected movies so that families who have a member with autism can attend the movies as a family. They make adjustments to the lights and sound and to their moving around policies so everyone has fun!

here is the link so you can see if they have a showing in your area. If not, just ask them to start the program.

I just talked to the Director, and he said that others are also accessing these showings. for example, older folks that think the movies are too loud, and that enjoy the children having fun go to these showings too. Doing great community services is good for the whole community. THANKS AMC.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I got a great story from a mom who is also an occupational therapist [my profession], and she agreed to let me share her story as an illustration of the impact of sensory processing on everyday life.

I read with interest the article on "Sensory Sensitivities of Gifted Children" (Gere, Capps, Mitchell & Grubbs, 2009) and your response (Dunn, 2009).

It has been interesting to see students who are gifted in music and also oversensitive to auditory input. Put them in aconcert in high school (obviously with training) and they are wonderful. My own daughter hated sudden, loud noises, (ie. sirens and fireworks) to the point where we avoided parades and fourth of July celebrations. However, she is gifted musically, and at the age of 17 months sang "Happy Birthday" to a friend, with correct pitch and words. She is currently studying classical voice. I would love to hear about the positives of people who are considered "non-typical". I think that too often children are put in the non-typical box and we forget that that unusual ways of perceiving, thinking and problem solving gives birth to new ideas.

What this person is expressing is that it is our uniqueness, our quirkiness that gives rise to innovation and creativity. We are on the wrong track if we think we have to 'normalize' these aspects of people's traits because we risk losing other very helpful aspects of their behavior as well. In the article referenced above, the authors cited the gifted literature, which hypothesizes that children’s sensory sensitivities might contribute to both their superior problem solving abilities and their challenges with social interactions.

It is not surprising that children who are great musically could also be sensitive to sounds. Perhaps that is how they notice the little nuances that others miss... we cannot indict one manifestation of their trait [i.e., their sensitivity], while hailing another aspect of it [i.e., their intense musical talent]. We have to find ways for the musical talent to flourish because of the sensitivity to details, while diminishing the impact of that same auditory sensitivity on other aspects of everyday life. We need to consider the risk of diminishing the sensitivity on the superior abilities.