A Book Review of The Classroom Mystery; a book about ADHD.
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed Behavior Disorder in children under 18 years of age. It is also the most over-diagnosed disorder, as many disorders of childhood present with similar symptoms. Hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsiveness can be present in many other disorders including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Autism and budding Bipolar Disorder. Therefore, it is important to obtain an evaluation by a mental health professional who explores the child's developmental and family history. The professional should also obtain detailed feedback from parents and teachers, along with doing careful observations of the child.
Despite the complications of diagnosis, ADHD is real and creates much difficulty for the child at home, in the classroom, and often, in the community. ADHD frequently overlaps with other disorders including Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorders, Anxiety and Conduct Disorder. This is another reason it is difficult to diagnose as there are often multiple things going on.
One of the most common side effects with children with ADHD that I have noticed in my practice, is the repeated negativity they receive in all settings. Their behaviors can be very trying on adult caregivers and teachers which often leads to significant negative feedback. They often become scapegoated by their peers and are often in trouble. This leads to poor self-esteem in addition to all of the other issues. This book goes a long way in helping that issue as it celebrates the positive attributes of children with ADHD.
Izzy, the main character, presents with many problems in the classroom, including getting hyper-focused on a thought, difficulty focusing on the current discussion, an inability to sit still, making distracting noises such as tapping foot, drumming fingers, snapping her hair clip, humming, etc. She also climbs on her desk and while doing so, all of her books crash to the floor disrupting the whole class. Many parents and teachers can relate to observing these behaviors!
However, there was a problem in the classroom with the pet rabbit's food disappearing and this is what Izzy cannot get off her mind. Due to her good problem solving skills, a very strong working memory, and a particularly strong interest in the missing food, Izzy is able to be a leader with problem solving and presents as the classroom hero as she is able to solve the mystery of the rabbit food thief! Her great memory and problem solving skills are her SUPERPOWERS.
This is an excellent book for kids with ADHD to read to gain awareness of their ADHD issues. The main takeaway from the book is to point out that ADHD kids, like all kids, have many strengths and can contribute a great deal of positive to the world around them. These strengths need to be acknowledged and highlighted. Dr. Alloway offers a Note to Parents/Teachers at the end of the book providing much information on ADHD. She also provides Discussion Points for the reader to help kids increase their comprehension and personal awareness.
The Classroom Mystery; a book about ADHD is part of the Superpowers Series celebrating positive traits associated with common Special Educational Needs. All of the books in this series are printed in "dyslexia-friendly fonts" to make it easier for children with learning disabilities to read. Three other books in this series are being released soon by this author. Check out her website at https://tracyalloway.com!
For more information on ADHD, a great resource to refer to is http://www.chadd.com.
Activity Idea for The Classroom Mystery
After reading the book, why not have kids identify their own SUPERPOWERS?! Making a SUPERHERO PUPPET would make this exercise especially fun! This activity can be beneficial for all children, not only children diagnosed with ADHD.
construction paper or cardstock-various colors