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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Joey Pigza, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B and Travels of Thelonious

Ever since I had my first son, there's been talk between mums about "labels" for kids. How it is wrong and causes unfair judgement and all sorts of other scary stuff.

Howandsoever, the only way to get extra help in our educational system is to get one. Dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, ASD and many more...they all entitle the child to specialised individual help with a qualified educator. It is no fun getting these labels(long family meetings with pyschologists, endless depressing lists to tick off, sitting in waiting rooms for hours with wriggly toddlers..) but boy, its worth it. One of my boys (label: language disorder) has had extra one to one help daily in school for the past seven years! His academic results have gone from well, well below average to high average and above.

Having said that, I have hated the label. But, maybe I shouldn't - in kids literature at the moment, they are everywhere.  Books whose main characters have named, claimed and tamed their tags. When I read the first few pages of  I Am Not Joey Pigza, I thought, oh God. ADHD, real, bloody headless chickens, they're not going to like this. But no, my ten year old loved it. He wants to read the rest of the series. My twelve year old was asking about it and I told him what ADHD was and he said "But is he ok, in the end?" and I had to say, "Well, he's ok all the time really. He's ok and has ADHD."

Its great, really, getting the labels out these so they aren't so labelly anymore. There's another one we havent read yet, that I might get for under the tree. Its The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B. (Room 13B is where there main character meets others who are also have obsessive compulsive disorder. )

In other news, Travels of Thelonious was inhaled by my graphic novel nuts the minute I got it home from the library. Its actually only half graphic novel, but at under €10, would be a good book to have at the ready for birthday boys from nine to twelve.

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