I chose the book because I felt a connection to Katie. I have two special needs children. My oldest, for those, who don't know, has ADHD and Autism. My youngest has developmental delays.
Katie is disabled (wheelchair bound) and can not speak. Katie relies on her attendant to help her in the classroom. She also uses a speak book, which allows her to use her eyes to communicate with her assistant. She enrolls at Cherry Street school, where everyone has a cool nickname. The book is narrated by Miguel, who gives out the nicknames to most of the school, including the principal, teacher, and janitor. With a little help from the speech therapist, Ms. Lips, Katie learns new ways to communicate, and earns a nickname. Ms. Lips and Katie, work together to surprise the classroom.
Definitely enjoyed the book because people have different methods of communication. Not everyone can traditionally speak. Brad can speak, but he can also point, grunt, and knows a few signs. Kalen also does not speak except his one word. therapist is attempting to teach him sign language. The book will be a great read for the special needs community (parents, siblings, speech therapists) and can be used to teach acceptance, inclusion, and disability etiquette. The last few pages in the book, after the story ends, lists disability etiquette. Some tips include:
- Do not stare and/or ignore people with disabilities.
- Do not shout or speak to the disabled, like they are younger or not as smart as you.
- When a disabled person has an aide, speak to the person, not the aide. If you talk to the aide, don't ignore the disabled person, as if he or she is not there.
- Don't pet service pets without permission. They are performing a service and should not be distracted or disturbed.
- Do not touch or play with any assisted technology devices.
- Don't ask about their condition unless they bring up the subject.
- Be patient.
- Focus on the person, not the disability.
Author: Patricia L. Mervine
Illustrator: Ian Acker
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Distributor: www.speakingofspeech.com. The book is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (print and Kindle formats)
Publication Date: July, 10, 2012
40 pages, softcover