Can I Tell You About … Auditory Processing Disorder?
Alyson Mountjoy, illustrated by Kelly Davies
Can I Tell You About … Forgiveness?
Liz Gulliford, illustrated by Rosy Salaman
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
These are two recent additions to the excellent Can I Tell You About series aimed at primary school audiences, their families, teachers and others who work with them.
Each illustrated book has a child narrator, and in the Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) book it’s Amy who herself has the disorder. After an explanatory introduction for adults, she talks about how the condition affects her; how she got her diagnosis and how she is supported both in school and at home.
We also learn that APD isn’t the same for all those affected: one of her friends, Tom has the condition too but has different challenges to cope with. Amy’s dad also has APD but received his diagnosis after his daughter.
One of the most important things for teachers to know is the emotional strain that children like Amy are under and in addition to this being a helpful book for young readers, it’s one teachers should read too.
Amy herself ends on an upbeat note: having described both her own and Tom’s particular strengths she says, “Work hard, believe in yourself, and you can make your dreams come true too.” How adults can help a child make this so are listed in the final pages.
Forgiveness, as author Liz Gulliford states in her introduction, is a complex, frequently misunderstood concept. It’s one that she has researched for many years. Liz feels it’s important for children not to be made to apologise automatically after a dispute between classmates for instance, something that can happen in schools or between siblings at home
Here she uses Joseph as her narrator and together with his family offers a story designed to stimulate discussion on forgiveness at home and school.
Joseph talks about different scenarios – his best friend telling others something Joseph confided in him, thus breaking his trust in Billy.
He then goes on to talk of an instance when he took his sister’s ball without asking and lost it, which required not only Joelle’s forgiveness, but also self-forgiveness on his own part.
There’s also the important consideration of another of Joseph’s school friends, George who is being bullied. Perhaps forgiveness in this instance is not appropriate in case the perpetrator then goes on to bully another child. Could a degree of compassionate concern, at least from Joseph be better?
These are some of the ideas explored in this book that will certainly be a valuable resource in starting explorations of forgiveness in PSHE lessons at KS2. To this end the final pages are devoted to notes and key learning points.