Children’s Books Honored For Disability Storylines

Author: Posted on: Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:52 719 Category: Latest News
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Three books are being honored for their portrayal of the disability experience through a special set of awards given alongside the well-known Caldecott and Newbery Medals.
The winners of this year’s Schneider Family Book Awards include tales of a boy who stutters, a girl with autism and young adults with intellectual disabilities during transition.
The Schneider awards are presented annually by the American Library Association to authors or illustrators for the “artistic expression of the disability experience.” One award is given for works aimed at each of three audiences — kids up to age 8, those ages 9 to 13 and teens.
In the youngest category, writer Alan Rabinowitz and illustrator Catia Chien won for their book “A Boy and a Jaguar,” about a young boy who stutters uncontrollably except when he talks to animals.
Ann M. Martin’s “Rain Reign” received the middle school award for depicting the life of a girl with autism who must break her routine in order to find her beloved dog who goes missing when a storm hits town.
“Martin creates an authentic portrayal of a young girl on the autism spectrum. In getting to know this resilient character, readers’ misconceptions about this disability will be altered,” said Alyson Beecher, chair of the Schneider Family Book Award.
Gail Giles won in the teen category for her book “Girls Like Us,” which follows two very different young women with disabilities who become roommates after completing a high school special education program.
“In this surprisingly gripping novel, readers gain insight into the challenges of young adults with intellectual disabilities. Through an unlikely friendship, two young women gain empowerment, independence and family,” Beecher said.
The awards were announced this week at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Chicago.
At the same time, the organization said this year’s Newbery Medal for children’s literature will go to Kwame Alexander for “The Crossover” and the Caldecott Medal for picture books will honor Dan Santat for “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.”
Each of the Schneider recipients will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque at the library association’s annual conference in San Francisco in June.
  • Hanuman Thursday, 21 May 2015 18:10

    I know you know that I can't diagnose or treat pelope here in the blogosphere. In fact, I've taken myself out of pediatric practice because of my illness. Of course I can't help thinking about medical stuff and having my own private thoughts about it, but my public practice has been shut down for ten years.The main thing is not so much pinning down a DSM diagnosis with kids. It's paying proper attention to their needs. If you haven't had him evaluated by a university based multidisciplinary clinic, do so. They look at things like spacial integration, balance and coordination, visual fields, audiology, all these sensory-motor factors that make such a huge difference in whether a kid feels like they're really here or not. A kid with sensory-motor integration problems might have screaming fits just because they have sensations that don't make any sense to them, and it freaks them out. Think of Temple Grandin's squeeze machine (if you haven't read Thinking in Pictures, you should). In my university's program for autistic spectrum kids, they had a brilliant therapist who would catch a kid before he spun out of control and roll him up in a yoga mat type thing. The kid felt safe, enclosed, and his squeeze receptors got squeezed, and he calmed down. Now tell me why these kids don't like to be hugged, but they love to be rolled up in a rug??? I can't tell you how many hours I spent bear-hugging my son when he was very young while he raged, screamed, kicked, tried to bite, head-butted, and fought like the devil. When he calmed down I would carry him to his room and set him on his bed, telling him he could come out of his room when he felt human. Then he would tear apart his room, throwing every single thing on the floor. I had a blow-up clown that he could pummel, and he did. Then, after the storm had passed, it would get very quiet in his room. I'd hear the door open. Mama? I'm human now. Can I come out? And I'd go and help him put his room back together, and we'd go do something completely different like make lunch or go for a walk. This happened about three times a week. Now he's a doctoral student in Medicinal Chemistry. You just have to hang in there with them and try to get them what they need, and never give up being their advocate. And love them. A lot.

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