Tuesday, November 11, 2008


People have had to order Living Sensationally because it has sold out! This means more and more people are learning about their sensory patterns and sharing with others. Remember, my goal is for the 4 sensory patterns to be 'kitchen table' talk, so familiar that we can tease each other playfully about being 'seekers', 'avoiders', 'sensors' and 'bystanders' as a way of acknowledging our quirkiness and uniqueness. When we can play with our differences, we are appreciating each other rather than being irritated or frustrated.

Keep the conspiracy of wisdom and acceptance going!


On Sunday, November 9, 2008, the lesson at the Unity Temple on the Plaza service was 'Diversity is Sensational'. At this congregation, they begin services with "Where diversity is praised, peace and harmony are the rewards". As the guest speaker for the lesson, I offered the idea that another way to praise diversity is to know about your sensory patterns, and the patterns of your family, friends and coworkers. We had a great time exploring this topic together, and getting 'in touch' with our senses as a way to know ourselves a little better. Being mindful includes insight and understanding, which then enables us to pause in situations and consider the meaning of the experience before taking action. Knowing sensory patterns informs our mindfulness.


More than 70 people showed up at the library to find out about Living Sensationally. It is really great to see that people are interested in this topic without any other previous experiences. When I talk to colleagues and families in my professional work, they are already somewhat familiar with the ideas, and want to learn more. At the library, the ideas have to stand on their own merit as raw material; thanks to everyone who responded to this invitation to spend an evening with me. I loved all the conversation and stories people had to tell, and as always, I learn too.

And the very coolest thing: Mr Kemper, the person providing vision for the Library system in our community, took the time to come and thank me for being part of the Library series. This man is an incredible and positive force in our community; I so appreciated meeting him, and in a small way, contributing to his vision for us.


I had a marvelous time at the Central Exchange this week (an organization of professional women). We discussed Living Sensationally, with the workplace and coworkers in mind. The room was completely full, and I was so honored to be with so many amazing women. Their questions were insightful and thought provoking for me. Every time I tell people about sensory patterns, I learn as much as they do.

Monday, September 22, 2008


On October 30, 2008, I will be speaking to Women Leaders in Kansas City about Living Sensationally. We are going to emphasize how one's sensory patterns affect work and productivity; this is a great way to reduce judgement in the workplace and increase everyone's appreciation for each other's talents and 'quirks'.



This Wednesday evening, I am giving a talk at the Plaza Public Library. The librarians have done a great job letting the public know about this event; I have people asking me about it around town!
And, one of my favorite locally owned stores in town, STUFF, is providing books for sale for all the attendees.
I am really looking forward to discussing the great ideas in Living Sensationally with the community; knowing yourself and others better will only improve life in our city.


Monday, July 28, 2008


I spent the month of June in Asia. I was invited to teach in Singapore and Hong Kong. It was really great to hear about the everyday lives of people living on another continent. It was also great to see that the concepts about how people contend with sensory experiences in their everyday lives still apply. We had many lively conversations about how to apply Living Sensationally ideas to life in Asia.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I was up bright and early this morning to participate in a panel discussion on CBC, Canadian Public Radio. here is an excerpt from their intro:

Part 1: Petting Zoos - Panel
...So we thought it was worth exploring what it is that drives us to have a hands-on experience with wild and often dangerous animals.For their thoughts on that, we were joined by two people.

Alan Beck is the Director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. He was in West Lafayette, Indiana. And Winnie Dunn is the author of Living Sensationally. She's also the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department at the University of Kansas, and she was in Kansas City.

Listen to the story:
Winnie Dunn starts about 10 minutes into the story; press "Play Part One"
It is really an interesting story!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I found a great interactive discussion about Living Sensationally on this website:


People provide descriptions of their own experiences with their sensory encounters... check it out!


Today I found an internet site that had a "Friday Book Club" discussion of Living Sensationally.

Terri Mauro provides guidance to parents with children who have special needs. Every Friday she reviews books for the Harried Parent's Book Club, and she selected Living Sensationally. She says it "can help you pinpoint your own sensory needs and how they may conflict with your child's." She goes on to say: "Parents ... benefit... from understanding how their own sensory profiles mess with their perception of the world and govern their behavior. It's easy to think that your child's refusal to do or eat or wear something is willful until you realize how often you, without even noticing, make those same sorts of decisions for yourself based on what feels right. Living Sensationally gives a detailed examination of four sensory styles and how they drive our actions and interactions. It may help you understand how you relate to your child, too, and why arguments arise."

Thanks for letting people know about this helpful resource!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I just found out from the publisher that Living Sensationally is being translated into German.
Das ist fabelhaft!


One of my friends told me this story; it speaks to the power of Living Sensationally to become vernacular!

A family member just became divorced. She was sitting at the kitchen table with her former husband visiting. The man began straightening up the items on the table as they talked. His need to have everything 'just right' was a source of challenge in their relationship.

As they talked, she told him about Living Sensationally, and said she thought that it would be helpful to him. He immediately went to get a copy, and read it that very week. The next time they talked, the man said 'If I had known all of this information for the last 20 years, I don't think we would have been divorced!'.

I am so saddened for the challenges in their marriage, and I am so warmed by his comment that the information was helpful to him. Perhaps his life will be better now, and he can 'live sensationally'!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


In January of this year, I gave a talk to the Psychiatry Grand Rounds, an interdisiciplinary group of professionals who serve children and adults with mental health disorders. The talk went well, and we had a lively discussion about SEEKERS, AVOIDERS, SENSORS and BYSTANDERS in the work place, in our client populations and in ourselves and family.

When I returned to my office, I had the greatest email from someone who had been at the Grand Rounds. But is was not from one of the interdisciplinary team members, it was from the Media Technician who set up and ensured all our sound, slides etc. were in proper order for the talk. He gave me generous permission to share his comments [thanks!]

"Hello Dr. my name is David and I was the tech this afternoon on your event. I just want to say that it was awesome. I know that you are busy and my field is not in the area in which you spoke on however I have a question. Is it possible for someone to personally have the characteristics of an Avoider or a Sensor yet put on the face of a Seeker? Maybe personally comfortable as the Avoider yet professionally having to mask as the seeker? Perhaps a new genera called the "Faker". I was just curious. Again great presentation and thank you for your time."

If you are reading this blog, you know that one of my goals is for the information in Living Sensationally to become 'kitchen table talk', concepts that everyone understands and can use to explain themselves and understand others. Well David's comments are a clear step in that direction, and I told him that he made my day!

And here is what I told him in return:

"Of course you can do what you explained... if you like most of your job duties, but you have to put on your 'game face' to complete certain tasks, that is perfect. Most of us can rally resources to do what is needed. The core of you as a sensory being is determined by what you have to do before and after the 'game' face time... if it is really you, there wont be big differences; if it is 'game' face, you will retreat before and after to regroup and recalibrate.

This is actually a great strategy... the important thing is to understand that you are doing it for an appropriate purpose... not because something is wrong with you. You are making conscious choices to act on your own behalf! In your case, when you are making sure that a presenter's talk goes off without a hitch... [and we presenters appreciate you for both your skill and your attention to us] you need to rally your social resources to complete the task. Then you can collect yourself in a more comfortable [from an Avoider or Sensory point of view] context like a dark room with your computer and no one to bother you."

Keep that KITCHEN TABLE TALK coming!


We ran across another blog that discusses Living Sensationally, and also contains lots of great ideas for our 'sensational lives'!

A big thanks to Beth and Lynda! And I cant wait to hear how you like the book!


Monday, February 11, 2008


Here is the radio interview with Chantal Sicile-Kira:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I got an email today asking for an interview to provide background for an upcoming story in COSMOPOLITAN magazine! The journalist wants to provide readers with information on maximizing the senses to keep the 'glow' going in relationships and sexual encounters.

We had a great conversation, and the article will appear in the May issue of COSMO. Watch for it-- I certainly will!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


This Wednesday evening, we are having a book discussion group at PLAZA WELLSPRING.

We will launch our discussions from stories and ideas from Living Sensationally; it will really be fun. This is my first chance to just talk about the ideas with a small group of people who are new to the concepts. I am really looking forward to learning how people respond to knowing about their sensory patterns. I am certain I will get some great stories from the participants.


Check this out! a web based newsletter telling people about the interview with AUTISM ONE radio



What a way to spend Saturday afternoon! I sat in the front windows of the Barnes & Noble with light streaming in, people walking by and readers congregating to talk about my book... it was great. I really enjoyed everyone that stopped by to share their stories.


Chantal Sicile-Kira interviewed me for a radio broadcast on AUTISM ONE radio. The original broadcast is scheduled for January 29th, and will be available for 6 months on their website so you can listen or download it for yourself.

The Real World of Autism, hosted by Chantal Sicile-Kira on Autism One Radio
Tuesday, January 29, 1:30-2:00 pm EST, 10:30-11:00 PST.

here is the link for the archived shows.

Chantal is the Author of Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, the 2006 San Diego Book Award - Best in Health/Fitness, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, the 2005 ASA Outstanding Literary Work of the Year Award.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


... did you know that? Many coats have different lining in the sleeves than in the body of the coat. If you didn't know this, perhaps you are a BYSTANDER!

A colleague of mine told me the greatest story today... she had been getting frustrated with her son because he couldn't find a coat that was acceptable. She wondered whether he wanted to be cool, and was looking for just the right coat, or whether he was just being independent.

Then her family read Living Sensationally and the whole family started talking about their patterns. My colleague started thinking about the coat situation too. The next time they went shopping, she stood back and watched her son examining the coats. He used his hand to feel down every sleeve; she realized that he was looking for the right texture for his daily activity of running his hands through the sleeve of his coat. They didnt find a coat that day, but she said she also wasnt upset with him this time.

This is a real tale of Living Sensationally... it's not about the fancy stuff, it's about the everyday experiences that comprise our days. She realized that part of what would make her son's day sensational was having the right feeling on his hands as he put his coat on each day.



Last week in church we had a 'White Stone' ceremony. We discussed the new year, and making big dreams, dreams we cant imagine are even possible, dreams we can grow into. We each got a small white tile, and were asked to identify a word that would symbolize our dream.

I picked 'VERNACULAR' because that is my dream for the ideas in Living Sensationally. I want families to talk about being Bystanders and Seekers at the kitchen table, laughing about each person's quirky ways of doing things. I want coworkers to consider who on their team will be best to complete a project because they understand what Sensors and Avoiders contribute to the work's success. I want friends to plan activities together with their sensory patterns in mind.

Here's to our collective understanding of each other! ahhh, the vernacular...


On January 21, 2008, I am taping an interview with Chantal Sicile-Kira. She hosts a radio show called Autism One. She is the author of Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum which won a 2006 San Diego Book Award, and Autism Spectrum Disorders which was the 2005 ASA Outstanding Literary Work of the Year.

I am looking forward to this conversation since some of my research findings included people with Autism Spectrum Disorders; in fact we learned how the sensory processing patterns work because of the experiences of children with ASD and their families and teachers. Isnt it great that we learned ideas from them that we can now apply to everyone?


Just before Christmas, KC LIVE hosted me on their TV show. I was included in their health segment, talking about LIVING SENSATIONALLY. They were extremely cordial, very attentive, and the interview went really well. I am working on getting a link here so you can see and hear what I have to say, instead of just reading about it... Talk to you soon!


Barnes & Noble on the Plaza in Kansas City has scheduled a book signing for

January 19, 2008 2-4pm

I am really excited to have a chance to talk to the public in this way; this is a really busy store, so I am certain that I will see many people just running their weekend errands. What a way to celebrate everyday life: sitting in an 'everyday life' place on a Saturday afternoon. Life is good.


We had a book signing and reception for Living Sensationally at the University of Kansas Medical Center in December 2007. People attended from all over the university, and were so gracious and excited about the ideas in this book.

I am so grateful for everyone's interest and support.
Read the article about the event at this web address.