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

 

Unstoppable Me! and No Excuses! Mental Health Awareness Month

Unstoppable Me!  10 Ways to Soar Through Life, is written by Dr. Wayne Dyer, with Kristina Tracy, and is published by Hay House, Inc.   The illustrations by Stacy Heller Budnick, are colorful and enchanting.  Although Dr. Dyer would like the concepts in his books introduced to children as early as two years of age, I believe kids ages  4 to 8 years, benefit most– and parents.  This book is based on Dr. Dyer’s adult book What Do You Really Want for Your Children?

Dr. Dyer has effectively used rhyme in a fun way to communicate the 10 concepts in his book.   It is a heartwarming  book that encourages kids to become the most that they can be.    He begins with “You’re great-no matter what,  persistence pays off, welcome to the unknown, you have a choice, farewell to worry, peace begins with you, enjoy the here-and-now, healthy me, creativity is the key, and what can you give.”    Dyer’s messages build such positive self-esteem for children, in ways that a child will easily and eagerly understand.  For example he says, “change is a good thing and if you embrace it instead of fear it, life will always be an adventure.”    His challenge to children is to think about what “you can give and not what you can get.”   At the end of the book is a very important section where children and parents can answer questions about how they might handle a situation.  A great way for a parent to learn about what is on their child’s mind. 

No Excuses!: How What You Can Say Can Get in Your Way  is another book written by Dr. Wayne Dyer with Kristina Tracy and illustrated by Stacy Heller Budnick.  It is for children 4 to 8 years of age. 

This is a  story about a boy who loves turtles and wants to become a marine biologist,  but isn’t supported and encouraged by those around him.  He begins to doubt himself  and gives up on his dream saying  “I’m not smart enough…it’s too hard…it will take too long and cost too much .”   While visiting an aquarium, the boy meets a marine biologist who changes his life,  and gives him the first encouragement he needs to begin to work through his excuses and gain self-confidence.  This book delivers a  powerful message.  It’s well-suited for parents and teachers to use with children, to help them name the excuses they make that prevent them from reaching their full potential.  As with all Dr. Dyer’s books, there is a list and a quiz at the end where kids can discuss whether a sentence is an excuse.

I believe we are undergoing a major paradigm shift in how we teach our children.  Children are so open and receptive to new thoughts and ideas.  Dr. Dyer’s book would be great tools for teachers to use with pre-schoolers through elementary.   After giving this more thought, it would be good for parents to start introducing his books at age two, and continue to read them repeatedly through elementary school.   What better way to affirm your child’s greatness, encourage possibility and reach their full potential.

Incredible You!

Dr. Wayne Dyer’s picture book “Incredible You,” is an uplifting, feel good about yourself picture book that helps children explore the 10 ways to let your greatness shine through. The book illustrations by Melanie Siegel, are bold and colorful.

Everything is possible in the hearts and minds of a child. That is what makes this the perfect book to boost a child’s self-esteem. Dr. Dyer, “believes that you cannot start early enough to teach the essential lessons for living a successful and peaceful life.”

Parents can introduce their children to 10 concepts that include: share the good, find what you love, find a quiet place inside, make today great, take care of yourself, everyone is special, especially you and many more. Each idea is presented very simply and is numbered. At the end, Dr. Dyer, has a list of questions related to each idea, where parents and teachers can help the child relate in his//her own special way.

This is a beautiful book filled with love, insight and purpose. It’s a simple message that kids will get.

It is Dr. Dyer’s wish that “these precious souls close the book and feel that nothing is impossible for them.” “It would be even more thrilling for me if this becomes the book they choose each night.”

The first week of May is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, declared by the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. This week emphasized the importance of family and youth involvement in the children’s mental health movement.  National Mental Health Month will run through May.