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special needs

What’s Wrong With Timmy?

What's Wrong with Timmy - coverWhat’s Wrong with Timmy?
Shriver
2001

Submitter: This book is part of a series by Shriver for helping kids accept the fact that bad stuff happens to people and no one knows why.  There is another book we own by Shriver about Alzheimer’s.  Kate, our main character, learns through colored pencil illustrations that Timmy may be disabled, but he tries his best to be just like everyone else.  The book is very wordy, definitely something I wouldn’t read to any kids.  But the kicker for me is that it uses the term “mental retardation.”  As far as I know, even as a medical term, retardation was not used as a diagnosis any more by 2001, though I may be mistaken.  I’ve included more pictures of the text, because the illustrations are rather bland and forgettable.

Holly: I have yet to see the perfect “explain our differences” picture book. They either have weird illustrations or too many words or questionable terminology. This one is better than many, I’d say, but I do agree that there are too many words per page. I think it could be said just as nicely in a sentence or two per page with words kids can understand (and words they should be encouraged to use).

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Special Ed for Kids

coverLearning My Way
I’m a Winner
Swenson and Kunz
1986

This is part of a series on helping children cope with social situations, friendship, and other minefields of life. This book walks children through the diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities. In this kid’s case, ADHD.

I get the intention of these books, but I am not a fan. They usually have no story or read like a textbook. In this case, we also get the bonus of few illustrations. (The cover really bugs me. The kid’s arms seem wrong.) I also have to wonder how you get a kid with attention problems to sit still long enough to read this boring story.

Mary

 

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Mentally Defective Children

Mentally Defective Children coverMentally Defective Children
Binet and Simon
1914

I like these kinds of books as they are such an anachronism compared to today’s published academic works. It really is a glimpse of history. I can imagine the horror of an average public library patron stumbling on this work and shocked that a book would have such a title. On the other hand, I know people that would assume the title is humorous.I can make jokes all day about “defective” kids, especially my own.

Anyone that had Psych 101 in college, and was even half-way paying attention, would recognize the authors’ names. Of course this submission is not necessarily an “awful” book as Binet is considered an important scholar for psychology. However, you can see that this 100 year + book has seen better days. Is it important to keep this in a circulating collection? This is available in so many digital collections that I can’t believe that this particular edition is needed in a circulating print collection. Is there something special about the book as an artifact that makes this particular edition important? If there is, get it out of regular circulation and preserve it. Slapping on some tape and re-shelving is not preservation.

Mary

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