As many of my neurodiverse friends know, April is AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH.
Being neurodiverse myself, and being a librarian, of course, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by… I just had to come up with a list of wonderful books for the occasion. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I decided to branch out on all spectrums of neurodiversity.
So, without further ado, here are over 100 book recommendations, ranging from children's picture books and middle-grade stories, teen and young adult fiction and adult reads!
For Children’s Picture Books
1. Up and Adam by Debbie Zapata
2. ADHD and Me by Chelsea DiCicco
3. All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer
4. How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
5. It Was Supposed to Be Sunny by Samantha Cotterill
6. Juan Has the Jitters! by Aneta Cruz
7. The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca
8. Big Truck Play Date by Laurie Carmody
9. Rowdy in the Library by Yvonne Fletcher
10. Cory Stories: A Kid's Book About Living with ADHD by Jeanne Kraus
11. The Playground Problem: a book about anxiety by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway
12. The Perfect Project: a book about autism by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway
13. The Classroom Mystery: a book about ADHD by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway
14. My Friend has Autism by Amanda F. Doering
15. Some Kids Have Autism by Martha Rustad
16. Aurora's Gift by Emily Bunny
17. A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey
18. Dyslexia by Ann Squire
19. Balloons by Rainbow Mosho
20. Dyslexia: My Health Series by Alvin Silverstein
21. The Abilities in Me ADHD by Gemma Keir
22. Dyslexic Brains Are Beautiful Brains by Kaitlin McCartny
23. My Wandering Mind by Merriam Sarcia Saunders
24. A Walk in Words by Hudson Talbott
25. A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey
26. Different- A Great Thing to Be! By Heather Avis
27. When things get too loud: A story about sensory overload by Anne Alcott
28. When Oliver Speaks by Kimberly Garvin
29. Me is Awesome: The Story of my Dyspraxic World (Dyspraxia) by Terri Lamberton
30. My Friend Josh Has DCD by Christine R Draper
31. What Your Friend With Apraxia Wants You To Know by Laura T Bruno
32. Beyond Words: A Child's Journey Through Apraxia by Dana Hall
33. My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete
34. Dyslexic Legends Alphabet by Beck Feiner
35. Mindfulness Workbook for Kids with ADHD: Engaging Activities to Help Children Clam, Focus, Self-Regulate, and to Promote Health and Wellness in Children by Jennie Miller
For Children’s Middle-Grade
1. The Spaghetti Detectives by Andreas Steinhöfel
2. A Perfect Mistake by Melanie Conklin
3. The Brave by James Bird
4. Tune it Out by Jamie Sumner
5. The Summer of June by Jamie Sumner
6. Roll With It by Jamie Sumner
7. One Kid's Trash by Jamie Sumner
8. Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught
9. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Bruce Hyman
10. The Autism Acceptance book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin
11. Best Kept Secret : The Third Generation by Ann M Martin
12. Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery
13. Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor by Temple Grandin
14. Get a grip by Cohen Vivy
15. Real by Carol Cujec
16. Bad Best Friend by Rachel Vail
17. The Someday Birds by Sally Pla
18. The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
19. Can you see me? by Libby Scott
20. A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll
21. Nobody's perfect by Marlee Matlin
22. Superstar by Mandy Davis
23. Focused by Alyson Gerber
24. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
For Young Adult/Teens
1. Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe
2. Stuff That's Loud: A Teen's Guide To Unspiraling When Ocd Gets Noisy Ben Sedley
3. Obsessed: A Memoir Of My Life With OCD by Allison Britz
4. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
5. Six goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger
6. The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
7. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
8. The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Wones Tomp
9. The Anxiety Survival Guide For Teens : CBT Skills To Overcome Fear, Worry & Panic by Jennifer Shannon
10. Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
11. A List of Cages by Robin Roe
12. Slider by Pete Hautman
13. Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer
14. Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl
15. The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide : How to Grow up Awesome and
16. Autistic by Siena Castellon
1. A Thorn In My Pocket: Temple Grandin's mother tells the family story by Eustacia Cutler
2. Down Syndrome by Salvatore Tocci
3. Just This Side of Normal by Elizabeth Gerlach
4. Unraveling The ADD/ADHD by Fiasco: Successful Parenting Without Drugs by David Stein
5. Finding Ben : A Mother's Journey Through the Maze of Asperger's By Barbara LaSalle
6. Louder than Words : A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism by Jenny McCarthy,
7. The Asperger's Answer Book : The Top 300 Questions Parents Ask by Susan Ashley
8. Thinking in pictures : And Other Reports From My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin
9. Visual Thinking : The Hidden Gifts Of People Who Think In Pictures, Patterns, And Abstractions by Temple Grandin
10. Unraveling The Mystery Of Autism And Pervasive Developmental Disorder : A Mother's Story Of Research And Recovery by Karyn Seroussi
11. With the Light : Raising An Autistic Child by Keiko Tobe
12. Neurotribes : The Legacy Of Autism And The Future Of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
13. Getting the Best for Your Child With Autism: An Expert's Guide To Treatment by Bryna Siegel
14. ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says by Russell Barkley
15. The Autism Sourcebook: Everything You Need To Know About Diagnosis, Treatment, Coping, And Healing by Karen Siff Exkorn
16. OCD : A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by Michael A. Tompkins
17. Against Medical Advice : A True Story by James Patterson
18. The Brain That Changes Itself : Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge
19. Asperger's Syndrome : A Guide For Parents
20. And Professionals by Tony Attwood
21. Developing Talents : Careers For Individuals With Asperger
22. Syndrome And High-Functioning Autism by Temple Grandin
23. Dyspraxia Developmental Co-ordination Disorder by Dr. Amanda Kirby
A few other honorable mentions:
1. Listening to My Body: A guide to helping kids understand the connection between their sensations (what the heck are those?) and feelings so that they can get better at figuring out what they need by Gabi Garcia
2. Find Your Calm: A Mindful Approach To Relieve Anxiety And Grow Your Bravery (Growing Heart & Minds) by Gabi Garcia
3. Acceptance is my Superpower: A children’s Book about Diversity and Equality (My Superpower Books) by Alicia Ortego
February is here! And with it… another FEATURE INTERVIEW! Today, I’m especially excited to introduce you to our guest, Alycia Neighbours.
I have the pleasure of working with Alycia in the library. She is a fantastically talented artist with a very funny (and sometimes unfiltered) sense of humor- which cracks us all up. Of course, most of us gals in the library think we’re hilarious and spend a lot of our time laughing at what some might think is nonsense. But I’m losing focus. *My ADHD apologies.* Speaking of which… something that Alycia and I share is that both of us are on the neurodiverse spectrum. Which is pretty cool.
I have a feeling putting us together for this interview is going to lead to a lot of wandering around on different topics. We’ll see if we get through it. If nothing else… I can guarantee it will be interesting.
So, let’s do this.
*Rolling up sleeves.*
Are you ready, Alycia? And 100 points to Gryffindor if you say, “I was born ready.”
*Cracks knuckles, smirks, and her eyes have a puckish glint* “I was born ready, but I’m unsure if you are.”
Ready or not, here we go!
My bio about Alycia:
Alycia is a very cool librarian with many creative talents and passions. She works with wildlife rescue (we actually have a very funny story about a tortoise she almost stole thinking it was mine. Maybe we’ll tell you about it later…) She’s an artist and now working on illustrations for an upcoming picture book (YAY!) She is neurodiverse (I’ll let her expand on that if she’d like), big-hearted, big-humored, big-mouthed- (Am I allowed to say that, Alycia? I know you would. Just kidding. Kind of.) one-of-a-kind individual with her own unique brand of personality. She is also a mom and stepmom to a pretty gigantic brood of kids. I can’t remember how many there are… What was it, like 50? I know it was a Cheaper By The Dozen Situation at best. Tell me again, how many munchkins you have in total? And all jokes aside, she’s a pretty terrific and down-to-earth human being, who I’m deeply grateful to know.
Alycia’s bio about Alycia:
I am a 46-year-old wife and mother of 8 with 2 granddaughters. A lot of the time, it does feel like there are 50+ kids I am somehow responsible for. Most of the time, it IS extra kids that have come over to play with our menagerie of animals. If it can be a house pet, I guarantee I probably have two of them. If it’s not one of my pets, it’s probably wildlife that I am working on rehabbing; nobody blinks an eye around here about squirrels in a closet, a hawk on the screened porch, a possum in the bed, or watching me set a broken leg on a mouse on the kitchen counter. I am autistic and have a Conure as a service animal. Cricket, the conure, is a small parrot with a growing vocabulary. He has the ability (as all birds do) to sense small, subtle magnetic changes around him. This includes the beating of my heart speeding up. His job is to identify those moments before I do, and then he leans into my neck. His warm body pressing on me alerts me that I need to pay attention to what my body is telling me and use my tools to combat my instincts. When I am not filling dinner plates of food bowls, I am either working at the library, homeschooling 4 teenagers, or creating. Artwise I am a painter, crocheter, knitter, pyrographer, calligrapher, tattoo designer, logo designer, sculptor, and jewelry maker. My other interests are mounted archery, kayaking, working with mustangs or abused horses, hiking, and anything else that can get me into nature.
So, today’s interview (as you can probably already tell) is going to be formatted a little bit differently for a few reasons.
1.It’s Alycia and me- and together, we’re trouble.
2.This will be my first sit-down interview with an artist only! We did have one interview back in December that featured a father and son-author/illustrator team, but this time, we are going to be focusing on art and illustration. And Alycia’s illustration journey is going to be a little bit different because, as I understand it, Alycia is going through a traditional route and was hired by a publishing house. Is that right?
I believe the chain of events that occurred whilst I was peacefully sleeping is that an author actually stumbled into my art via a social media site while she was perusing artwork pertaining to her character. She introduced it to the Powers That Be of Publishing and then began courting me with promises of face-to-face meetings at her hobby farm. How could I possibly refuse a chance to sit down amongst roaming goats, turkeys, floofy dogs, and kitties in need of “scritches.”
I know that in publishing, there is some red tape on things, and it’s important to stay hush-hush until a certain date. So, with that in mind, instead of me asking you direct questions, maybe instead, you could tell us what you’re able to about the publishing experience and project so far.
I can tell you that the publishing house that is working with us is a fantastical beast of making sure everything is absolutely perfect, from making sure the prose is formatted the best for our demographic, the margins are clearer than a guppie’s mind, the artwork being chosen is to not only reflect the passion of the words but to engage all levels of readers. It’s a slower process than Chelsea’s pretend tortoise imitating an arthritic sloth. The author I am working with has a background in teaching and preparing kids not just academically for the world but emotionally. She is in the middle of two books, one I am illustrating in my style because of the subject matter and the other about a whimsical butterfly done by a brilliant watercolorist. It was important to her to choose artists that not only could tackle bringing her words to life but who were passionate about their subjects.
Her deciding factor in choosing me was her book focuses around a crow that has grown up believing his identity was defined by those around him, which was a loving, but aloof family of chickens. He has to embrace who he truly is if he is going to be able to make a difference. When the author found me on social media, not only was she interested in my artwork, but I was also working with an orphaned crow affectionately named Chikyn. I was documenting his life of learning how to be a crow by introducing him as he was maturing to wild crows that nest in the woods behind my home. She knew then that I was the perfect candidate for illustrating this book.
So, now that we’ve talked about your traditional experience let’s talk about your inspiration for art. Have you always identified as an artist? How old were you?
I have always been creative, and at 46 years old, I sometimes feel as though I am just beginning. I work in all sorts of mediums and am usually taking online courses and working with other artists to further my different crafts. As mentioned, I am on the spectrum and am Autistic. One of my superpowers is the ability to hyperfocus on small details that make up the whole. I can get lost for hours creating each blade on a feather, the wrinkle on a flower petal, or the texture of the skin on an elephant. Most of my art focuses on these details, and by working in black and white, I encourage the viewer to ignore the colors that fascinate us at first glance and look closer at the beauty of the structure.
What does being an artist mean to you? And what is your connection to your art?
Being an artist means slowing down to appreciate the complex within the simplicity at first glance. It is taking a millisecond of time and preserving it in a way that invites the viewer to stop for a while and take notice of the chaotic perfection of form and structure.
My connection to art is that is my way of being. I think, hear and process the world around me in pictures. To be able to pull those images from my mind and put them onto canvas is a way of communication for me. It is my window to my soul.
What made you want to pursue illustration?
Pursuing this particular avenue of art allows me to use my connections to my work to help the author give “flesh” to their message. Children especially learn images long before they learn language. When reading an illustrated book on their own or if an adult is reading to them, they take what they have already learned through images and assign language. I feel this gives kids a sense of security to learn language and emotion/intention with a base of knowledge that feels familiar and comfortable.
Outside of this newest publishing venture, have you previously done any sort of commissioned artwork? If so, can you tell us a little bit about that process and maybe about the projects you worked on?
I’ve been doing commissions for the better part of the past decade. I tend to gravitate toward projects that have deep emotional meaning to the recipient. Whether a portrait of their beloved family member, a wood-burned recipe on a cutting board that has been passed down from the grandparents, a sculpture of their favorite pet, a watercolor of their home, a crocheted blanket for their newborn child, or a rendering of their favorite animal; if they are passionate then so am I.
I know what a talented artist you are. I’ve seen your work up close! And I’ve had the privilege of watching you teach a painting class for beginner artists as well, inside the library. Do you have any samples of your work that you’d be willing to share with us today?
Note: so, Alycia gave me free reign to choose images from her Instagram, and of course, my favorite animals are foxes and bats, so I have included them both!
Alycia, your attention to detail blows my mind. I know you usually work with black and white, but I chose one image to share as well with a pop of color. It really is stunning! But, I could talk all day about how much I love your work, and as much fun as that would be… I might lose some readers. So, back to what we were previously talking about: the library…
Recently, you hosted your first program in the library! Back in December of 2022, you hosted a winter painting party. How did it feel to host your first program? Were you super siked to lead an art-based event? Or were you nervous? Or were you a little of both? (Although, I can’t really picture you being nervous. And you handled the class so smoothly, it seemed like second nature.)
I was very excited to bring painting to the library. The main reason I began working in the library is my intense desire to serve people. Not just to serve them but for each person, I come in contact with to feel seen, feel important, and feel connected. Painting and learning painting is not something easily or cheaply done, so many people don’t ever take a chance on themselves becoming artists. The library offering this service for free allowed people of all backgrounds to be risky. I know how hard it is to take a risk and create something that feels so personal, so by teaching the class, I was able to walk right alongside them each step of the way, instructing, encouraging, and celebrating each unique canvas.
I was a little nervous, but that was due to my being in a new situation and a transition from my normal routine at the library; spectrum by-product. However, teaching painting classes is not new for me. I’ve taught personal lessons one-on-one, small groups during parties, and large groups of 100s of children at one time. I’ve learned the reward of seeing all the risk-takers with their paintbrushes is far more powerful than my moments of discomfort.
So, if someone wanted an Alycia original, is that something they could get? Can people approach you with projects they’d like you to create for them? And if so, how?
Absolutely! I am always available for new projects and ventures. Sometimes there are busy seasons, so there may be a wait for your finished project, but I always connect through each stage of the work progress to show the recipient where I am with things an.d if we need to tweak along the way. They can always approach me in person or through email email@example.com, social media sites, or by phone (six one five- four two zero- zero two four four.)
Okay, now for some fun GET-TO-KNOW-YOU-BETTER questions:
Alycia, if you could be any mythical creature, what would you be?
I would want to be a fairy the size of Tinkerbell (which, by the way, is one of my favorite characters) By being so small, I could sit in a flower all day to appreciate each splendid petal or perhaps ride on the wings of bird and see the world through their eyes, or maybe I’ll curl up under a toadstool, pull up my blanket of moss, listen to the cricket orchestra play a Sonata while I nap under a sunbeam.
If you could have any superpower (other than the many you already possess), what would you choose?
Flying. Definitely flying. I am a bird fanatic (autism focus - I can talk about birds for hours and hours) and also have a degree in bird biology.
If you could travel to any point in history, what and where would it be?
I’m going to have to go with the Jurassic Era here. Yes, I am probably going to get smashed at some point, but this girl is going to ride a Triceratops if that is the last thing I do.
If you turned into an animal tomorrow, based on your personality, what do you think it would be and why?
As much as I want to say a bird, I would one hundred percent probably be a cicada. I stay under wraps and avoid all contact until I am forced to come out. Then I begin to scream.
Now for some riddles… no cheating!
Where do sick boats go?
Well, if they had taken their Vitamin Sea, they wouldn’t have to go to the dock.
Tou·ché. However, the answer we were looking for is “the dock-tor.”
Name an expensive fish.
The one that clogs up your toilet and creates hefty plumbing bills.
*Chelsea laughing* Goldfish.
How do you spell COW in thirteen letters?
*Sips coffee, tries to look wise* SEE O DOUBLE YOU.
Alright. Here’s our last one.
If 2 is company and 3 is a crowd, what are 4 and 5?
*Continues sipping coffee*9.
Thank you, Alycia, for letting me pick your brain! It’s been a treat. *Chelsea as a zombie “brains! Delicious.”* And now… does anybody know what time it is?
I’ll give you a hint. It starts with the letter G…
As great as all those things are… it is none of the above. It’s…
Alycia is generously offering a custom artwork giveaway. Think of your favorite animal *fiction or nonfiction* and leave it in the comments below. One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive a custom piece of art featuring the animal you chose. The commenting window for the prize will last one week from the post date of this FEATURE INTERVIEW. The deadline will be Wednesday, February 8th, 2023, so make sure to get your answers in as soon as possible! Please also make sure to include your NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS in your comment so that we can easily contact our prize winner.
To connect with Alycia or to see some of her amazing artwork, visit her social media, shown below.
Before you go…
If you enjoyed this interview, be sure to like this post and subscribe to Chelsea’s World of Books BLOG for more fabulous #kidlit happenings. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Thanks for reading!
Join us next month for our FEATURE INTERVIEW with Kidlit Author Janet Sumner Johnson.
If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome. My name is Chelsea DiCicco and today, I'm sharing an exciting event that's happening now on SCBWI. The Fall 2022 SCBWI BookStop event is here- and we're excited about it! This event went live on October 18th, 2022 and will last through December 5th 2022.
So, what is this event all about?
SCBWI BookStop is a fantastic collaboration of where authors both independently and traditionally published come together to showcase and share their new work with readers like you! This Fall BookStop event features books that were released between 2020-2022.
This is a great and fun way to find out about amazing new reads and discover new authors! And guess who joined this year? That's right- yours truly! You can visit my BookStop page by clicking HERE. *Note: this link will only be active for the dates listed above.
If you haven't already visited, what are you waiting for? Check it out!
Here's a little sneak preview of what my BookStop page looks like for anyone who's curious...
It’s been a little while since I’ve made a post. Here’s what I’ve been up to…
For the past few months I’ve been gathering information, doing research, attending webinars, and working vigorously toward starting a non-profit Homeschool Group for families in need in my community. And I’m happy to announce, it has been a great success!
I’m so excited to share this news with you, so let’s dive right in!
What is Homeschool Group?
Homeschool Group is a place where families can come together and socialize, and kids can engage in self-paced, hands-on learning in a relaxed and creative environment. Right now, my group is open to ages 7-10, but I may look at expanding those age brackets as time goes on and I get a better feel for the specific needs of my community.
Where and when is Homeschool Group hosted? How can I attend?
Great question! Homeschool Group is being hosted in the Hendersonville Public Library in Tennessee. This group is held on the first Monday of each month at 2 PM. Sign-up sheets can be found in the Children’s area. For other cool events we have going on, check out our Facebook page or Instagram feed for updates and calendar info!
My personal goal with Homeschool Group is to inspire creativity and encourage social emotional learning while exposing children to the five elements of STEAM education; science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
Around the room I have activity tables set up for kids to visit, imagine, and explore the wonders of reading, science, building, writing, creating, socializing, inventing, and playing!
Each of our tables is inspired by STEAM concepts, and is designed to encourage creative thinking and problem solving, enhance motor skills and social-emotional learning, and inspire children to find connections and explore the realm of imagination in a safe and fun environment.
Throughout the building process of this project, I was able to get some fabulous inspiration and ideas from several webinars, a few that I will mention here.
The two that stood out among the rest were STEAM in the Public Library: Programs & Services for Children and Creative Spaces and Family Engagement in Libraries, both available on Webjunction. Now, for those of you who may not know this, in addition to being a children’s book writer, I am also a Children’s Librarian. And, being homeschooled for the majority of my childhood, I have extensive knowledge of what it’s like to be in that position. How hard it can be to make connections within the community. Finding the right resources. Finding places to go. And forget about costs! You can’t find a “cheap” homeschooling program or event to participate in, and free? Free is unheard of. Everything costs something, and most often, it’s a higher price than the average family is looking to spend. Especially when you have more than one child. And that’s not a slight at pricing. It’s very possible that the price is justified and appropriate for whatever services are being offered, but nonetheless, many families simply can’t afford it.
So naturally, coming from a place of understanding, I wanted to offer a service to these families that wouldn’t dip into their pockets. And after some well thought out planning and a trial run, we were finally up and running!
Back to the wonderful Webinars I was able to enjoy. Here are a few of the notes I took from Creative Spaces and Family Engagement in Libraries, that really made me think about why art is such an important role in a child’s life.
The arts are not just expressive and effective. They are deeply cognitive. The arts develop essential thinking tools:
Pattern recognition and development.
Mental representations of the observed/imagined.
Symbolic and metaphorical representations.
Abstraction from complexity.
Cross wiring of brain areas.
Engagement with an art trains the brain to FOCUS, improving learning
* Interest in an art form leads to sustained attention when practicing that art form.
* Engaging in art involves resolving conflicts among competing possible responses.
* The ability to resolve conflict among competing responses is also a crucial aspect of attention training.
Arts integration improves learning
Studies consistently show:
* Greater emotional investment in classes.
* Work more diligently and learn from each other.
* Parents become more involved.
* Teachers collaborate more.
* Increased cross-curricular learning.
* Curriculum becomes more authentic, hands-on and project-based.
Yes, yes, YES, to all of the above! If you don’t believe this to be true, I suggest taking a look at my book, ADHD and Me. Yep, shameless self-promo. But I wouldn’t try to sell you if I didn’t think it’s true. And I happen to know it is because it was inspired by a real young lady, who went through the same everyday challenges as Malory. Who was that young lady? Me.
About the book: ADHD and Me is an SEL (social-emotional learning) book about a young girl named Malory who has ADHD. Throughout her neurodiverse journey, she is encouraged to express herself using art, by her art teacher Ms. Julie, who was diagnosed as a young girl with Autism. With the help of her fabulous support system, including friends and family, Malory is able to find the joys in life and embrace her differences.
Now for my notes on STEAM in the Public Library: Programs & Services for Children with guest speaker Amy Koester and blogger, “THE SHOW ME LIBRARIAN.”
A little bit about Amy. Amy is a Learning Experiences Manager of a Public Library. She serves as a vice president of ASLC, and she’s a big supporter of her library and community. To see more about her click here.
Amy is a kindred spirit and fellow supporter of all things STEAM. And, her blog is simply AMAZING. Here is a link to visit her blog, THE SHOW ME LIBRARIAN.
So, a few things that I took away from this webinar are listed below.
American children are lagging behind other countries when it comes to creative thinking.
School and life success isn’t just about reading.
Creativity is a top work skill. Today, big companies are looking for outside-of-the box thinkers and problem solvers. It is a highly valued and sought after trait in today’s workforce. And understandably so. Children who are adept learners and creative problem solvers statistically fair better in all avenues of life.
Now, a few of the suggestions that Amy gives are:
Set up activity stations (check!)
Observation station (check-check!)
Sensory lights (FUN!)
Glow in the dark (Who doesn’t love glow in the dark stuff?)
Grow plants (Check!)
Root gardens (Fantastic idea)
Incorporate living things (100%)
Butterflies/ant farms- and tie in books that fit your experiment! (yes!) While we are on that topic, see if you can sprinkle in non-fiction books too!
Use recyclables (ALWAYS!)
A few other helpful tips to make your programming fun and engaging for your young participants:
Encourage them to make something.
Get your hands dirty!
Include things that will involve motor skills.
Make STEAM displays fun: one suggestion Amy gave was a globe! A globe is great because kids can both look at it AND play with it. It spins!
And last but not least, give children the tools to succeed!
Today is a very exciting day. That is because today is the scheduled release of a special edition of ADHD and Me titled ADHD and Me: Classroom Edition. ADHD and Me: Classroom Edition is designed to be used by educators grades K-3rd.
About the story:
ADHD and Me and was inspired by a true story and told from the perspective of an eight-year-old girl named Malory. Throughout the story, Malory shares observations of others around her in school and at home while also navigating her own feelings. At the end of the book, there is a message from “Malory” addressing parents, caregivers, and educators.
Why is this book so important for children and schools?
Statistics show that more than 60% of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are also treated for other mental disorders. Many people also contend with addictive disorders, engage in self-harm or struggle with learning disabilities. There are many areas that ADHD can affect a person’s mental health.
Four common areas are:
Depression can drain your energy. Social anxiety can make it difficult to make friends or interact in group settings. Insomnia can result in poor mental or physical performance. And low self-esteem can lead to loneliness.
A child should never have to face these things alone! Who is in the prime position to help children and students who may be struggling with these emotional needs? You guessed it- PARENTS AND EDUCATORS ARE IN THE PRIME POSTION TO HELP STUDENTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THESE EMOTIONAL NEEDS! So, how can we, as parents and teachers, do this? By providing our children and students with four key things:
A healthy support system
Encouragement to boost their self-esteem
And creative outlets
This NEW RELEASE special edition of ADHD and Me: Classroom Edition is fully equipped with questions and discussion points to help children establish healthy boundaries, boost self-esteem, identify support systems, and discover creative outlets.
In addition to the launch of ADHD and Me Classroom Edition, also available on my website are FREE DOWNLOADABLE LESSON PLANS for grades K-3rd. These interactive lesson plans coincide with the story and include homework, games, questions, social projects, and much more! This curriculum was created to help educate and inspire positive emotional stimulations, social engagement, creative thinking, and group as well as individual problem-solving and is designed to be used in a classroom setting. So, what are you waiting for? Download your free lesson plans today!
Families and children cozied up in the warmth of this charming library while the piano played in the background. Also hosted on May 8th was a book sale. Usually this is held semi-annually, however, due to covid precautions and safety guidelines for the state and protection of patrons, the library had held off on hosting over the past year. Both events were put together by the Director of the Library, Diane Johnson, as well as the rest of the Library staff members.
ABOUT THE ATTENDEES
Borderless Arts Tennessee is a non-profit organization run by the state of Tennessee, committed to presenting programs for individuals with disabilities. Through the aids it provides, it adds to the enjoyment and empowerment of the community. For more information, visit their website here.
The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has a Facebook page, hosted by the DIDD Communications Department. Their mission is to support all people statewide in “living the lives they envision for themselves.” Their page aims to promote an informative and community-focused online experience.
Mary Elizabeth Jackson is an author and advocate for Autism TN. She co-hosted the interview conducted on Amazon Live with Bridgetti Lim Banda, May 8th 2021, on Autism and special needs.
Rainbow Mosho is a twelve-year-old artist and author with Autism, working her way towards empowering other children and families with special needs through her inspirational work. Her goal is to “give hope to all the kids in the world” with her book and words.
Chelsea Radojcic-DiCicco is a local children’s author living just outside of Nashville TN, currently seeking representation. Her memoir, ADHD and Me, was inspired by events in her own childhood and deals with the day-to-day challenges and triumphs as seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old little girl named Malory.
Throughout the story, “Malory” expresses her feelings and observations towards others around her and describes the challenges presented not only for herself, but for her parents and teachers as they strive to best care for her needs. The story lightly touches on real life topics such as trips to the Principal’s office as well as the decision whether or not to take medication. Malory identifies her support system, consisting of her family and one particularly gifted art teacher by the name of Ms. Julie. Ms. Julie, diagnosed with Autism at a young age, “understands what it’s like to do things a little bit differently,” and now uses art to help guide children like Malory to find their own inner calm. The story ends on a positive note of hope that “maybe one day” her story will be read by someone else who struggles with something and it will “help them and remind them that they too are beautiful and loved.” The closing line reads, “Your differences are precious gifts… embrace them.” ADHD and Me is a beautiful celebration of neurodiverse learning. It is currently being hosted for free download on NetGalley. For more about the author, please check out the ABOUT THE AUTHOR tab of this website.
Purchase links: here and here. For more about Mary Jackson, press here to visit her website.
Purchase links here and here. For more information on the author/artist, press here to visit her website.
CLICK HERE to watch live interviews with the authors recorded on May 8th 2021.