ADHD, Tics and Me!
Susan Ozer & Inyang Takon, illustrated by Sophie Kennedy
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
In this slim paperback we meet Jamie. Jamie is almost ten and he has ADHD and also a tic disorder called Tourette Syndrome. He talks directly to young readers about living with both of these conditions in a chatty narrative that is divided into two parts.
In the first ‘Meet Jamie’ the boy provides straightforward information about himself including his likes and dislikes, introduces his family members, and talks about how he was diagnosed.. In addition we hear how it is not always easy to tell whether those fidgety bouts he’s prone to are on account of having ADHD, tics, or both; and we learn that he is a member of an after school club called the ‘Tic Club’. As the young narrator takes readers through the first section, he offers several interactive activities for reader participation including, ‘Tell me about your happiest/ your scariest places.’ He also shares how he has learnt to relieve his ADHD symptoms, keep his tics to a minimum, and how friends and adults (including teachers) can help both at school and at home.
In part two Jamie explains the key role his Grandfather played in encouraging him to learn more about his tics. We hear how, thanks to a clever project with a competitive element, he and his fellow members of the Tic Club learn about each other by sharing their experiences of ADHD and tics at school and at home. We also meet some of Jamie’s friends who participated in this question and answer activity.
By encouraging youngsters to think about their own lives, the authors help readers like Jamie to understand that they aren’t defined by the label that comes with a diagnosis, a definite boost for self esteem – as well as showing others how to take a positive approach.
Whether or not a primary class has a child similar to Jamie on roll, this is a book that should be available in schools for both children and adults, offering as it does a good starting point for discussion.