Thank you Sivan Hong for joining me on my Born To Talk Radio Show Podcast.
As a mother of two neurodiverse kids, it was critical for her boys to grow up feeling a sense of pride about their brain differences. It was not enough that she is neurodivergent herself. There are so many strengths in brain differences, that she wanted them to see those strengths within themselves and build on them. But how was she going to do that?
To start with, like many parents, she looked for ways to teach her kids. She turned to books. Unfortunately, she soon discovered that there were not a lot of picture books that showed neurodivergent characters. Sivan wanted books that could mirror her children’s experiences. This included wearing headphones, chewing gum, playing with fidget toys, and their comfort in routine and schedules. She wanted to provide them with these types of mirrors to normalize their experiences so that they could see picture book characters being just like them. She wanted them to see that their experiences while different, were also normal.
Author and Illustrator.
Sivan never set out to be an author/illustrator, but she became one to fill a gap that she saw. That’s when she created the Super Fun Day Books series to show neurodiverse children facing challenges and overcoming them. Her books are structured like social stories, which is a tool used in special education to help teach children about something that may be hard. The illustrations in the books are purposefully simple to help keep a focus on the story and the font is dyslexic friendly. All the books are available as audiobooks to make them accessible to all types of learners.
Sivan’s latest book. Here is what it’s all about:
The end of the school year brings with it many changes that can be hard on little kids. Avery G. and the Scary End of School is a social story created to help children express their feelings about the end of school. All the other kids are talking about how much they are looking forward to summer… everyone but Avery G.
She doesn’t want to say good-bye to her friends.
What if no one remembers her next year? And Avery loves her teacher and her classroom. Everything will be new in the Fall.
Avery just wants everything to stay the same. Her parents say it will be ok – but will it really be ok?
“There are days when my children are proud of their neurodiversity and there are days like with all children, they just want to be like everyone else. I hope that my books help other parents, educators, and therapists, help children have more days when they feel proud of their brain differences.”
“As a bonus, books are also windows into someone else’s life, and I love hearing about how my books help start conversations with neurotypical kids about the differences they may see with their neurodiverse peers. After all, as a mother, I can help change how my kids feel about themselves but the world around them has to share in that positive message.”
Sivan is very generous with sharing her book stories. If you are a preschool to second-grade teacher, she can do virtual readings with signed copies of her books sent in advance to your classroom. She also has free downloadable teacher’s guides. However, her books are also perfect for families sharing these stories with their kids as well.
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