Mr. Worry – A Story About OCD; OCD Awareness Week Oct. 10-16, 2011

Mr. Worry – A Story about OCD,  is written by Holly L. Niner, illustrated by Greg Swearingen and published by Albert Whitman & Company for children from Kindergarten to fourth grade.   Niner has written a sensitive and meaningful story about a boy with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).   She has a wonderful grasp of OCD,  as she has a child with the disorder and realizes the importance of seeking early intervention.   Swearingen’s illustrations are rich, soft and perfectly capture the emotion of the story.  I highly  recommend this book for kids with OCD, parents, school counselors and teachers.

Before Kevin goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet to make sure nothing is there, looks under his bed repeatedly to make sure it is safe, pushes his chair against his desk, straightens the books on his desk and lines up the cars on his shelf.  And, he asks his mother the same questions repeatedly.   Kevin worries about everything at home and school.  Once the worry starts he has a hard time stopping because “his mind gets sweaty.”   Kevin’s parents are supportive and take him to talk with a therapist, who helps Kevin understand that he has OCD like many other children and adults.   Kevin is relieved to know that he’s not alone or crazy.  He decides to call his OCD, Mr. Worry.  He pictures Mr. Worry as a little man who keeps track of all of Kevin’s worries.  Kevin’s goal is to begin to hang up the phone on Mr. Worry when he calls.   Through behavioral therapy and medications Kevin begins to manage his OCD.   This book is such an accurate portrayal of OCD, children and families will find comfort in its message.  I also believe that this book could be helpful for any child dealing with excessive fear and anxiety.

Mr.Worry was selected by International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) as the Outstanding Book for Young People with Disabilities in 2005.   Holly Niner also is the author of I Can’t Stop: A Story about Tourette Syndrome

OCD Awareness Week is Oct. 10-16, 2011, and sponsored by the International OCD Foundation .   According to the foundation at least 1 in 200 children and teens in the U.S. have OCD.   Understanding the stress and impact OCD has on their lives is imperative in helping them seek the right treatment.   OCD is an all-consuming, debilitating disorder that affects up to 4 million people in the United States.  The disorder also affects millions more: family, friends and caregivers of those with OCD suffer along
side their loved ones.  Please visit the organization website as it has a wealth of information for children, teens, adults, families and school counselors.  Another interesting website for kids with OCD or anxiety is WorryWiseKids.

Copyright (c) 2011,  Patricia Howe Tilton, All Rights Reserved