Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI) launches children’s book to ease the anxiety of returning to school for children and their parents or carers. The book comes as the first of a series of short stories supporting children living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus (SB/H) to better understand and communicate key aspects of their conditions to their family, friends and wider community. Meet Mylo focuses on the unique relationship between a dog named Mylo and his two friends Michael and Mary who live with SB/H. The heart-warming story highlights the importance of not letting a disability define you while promoting understanding and awareness of the conditions.
The multifaceted nature of conditions such as SB/H makes the return to school a worrisome ordeal for both children and their parents or carers. In addition to concerns regarding school accessibility and personal care needs, the cognitive and social difficulties associated with the conditions can be exceptionally difficult to manage. Meet Mylo aims to ease the anxiety of returning to school by providing children with the tools to comprehend and communicate their abilities.
Speaking on the launch of the book, SBHI CEO Gerry Maguire said: ‘School can be a very challenging environment for a child living with a disability.’ ‘It’s difficult to comprehend why you might not have the same abilities as other children around you. Accessibility and health care needs can make organising something as simple as a playdate after school a monumental task. Living with SB/H can be very isolating for people of all ages.’
Commenting on the importance of the book, SBHI Education and Training Manager Katie Dunphy said: ‘Representation for children living with a disability is so important nowadays.’ ‘Having a hero to look up to gives a child a huge boost of confidence. It helps them to better understand why their experiences in life and school might be different to others around them – but most importantly, highlighting that difference as a plus!’
Meet Mylo was made possible through the support of Applegreen Blossom Fund and Dublin Bus. To attend the Meet Mylo read along launch event or read the book, please visit: www.sbhi.ie/meetmylo