Special Boys’ Business – what a book! It is THE INSTRUCTIONS!
This book has been especially written for boys with special needs. Specifically autism, communication disorders, and intellectual challenges.
I purchased Special Boys’ Business and Secret Boys’ Business as I wanted to see the information presented for neurotypical and compare that with the text for neuro-diverse children regarding puberty and the changes boys’ experience.
As you know, my Mini Giant is on the cusp of puberty and I have been looking for text to support the conversations we are about to have in an age appropriate manner.
For us, Special Boys’ Business is a fabulous first start.
The visuals are great and the information concise and clear.
Acknowledging that many people on the spectrum are primarily visual learners, the illustrations are the perfect medium to communicate the key messages about bodily changes, the importance of hygiene, what to wash, fluctuating emotions, “sexy” feelings, masturbation and privacy.
The language is simple and direct. My MG can struggle with complex verbal loading and when approaching this subject, I want the information to be easily understood and non threatening.
Transitions are difficult for my child. We do a lot of work at home to minimise anxiety surrounding transitions. Puberty is yet another time of significant transition. Overlay this with the anticipated hormonal surges, moodiness and increased anxiety and OMG, any and all preparation we can do to help him understand what is happening, is vital.
Why use the word vital?
Because mostly, I am concerned for my child’s mental health.
I want him to have a healthy self esteem, to know that everything is progressing normally, to know it is safe to come to me if everything is not developing as it should. I want him to not fear his emotions, to stuff them down and fester, to be ashamed of what he feels. I need him to hear the information from me before some kid in the school yard fills his head with rubbish or fact but my MG cannot understand the context and it frightens him.
As part and parcel of PDD – NOS, my Mini Giant operates on a baseline level of turbo charged, heightened anxiety that neurotypical individuals would potentially self medicate to manage or numb. It must be exhausting to be so anxious and ready to fight, flight or fright as your regular response to everyday life. We are working on strategies to remediate this however puberty is anticipated to exacerbate anxiety symptoms. I want, need, desire my MG to be fully aware of what is happening to him so as to minimise his stress and anxiety around this time of transition. He will have enough to be concerned about, worry over, mull and brood on as part of teenage life.
So, Special Boys’ Business is a great starter for our developmental journey.
Secret Boys’ Business has a significantly greater verbal/written loading and therefore more detailed information. As per Special Boys’ Business, the pictures are beautifully drawn and support the text. For us, I think we will also use Secret Boys’ Business. Probably more for me as script support during conversations with MG or maybe we’ll read it together when we are done with Special Boys’ Business. Anyhoo, it is a well written book and perfect for my not-so-little person.
Heather Anderson, Fay Angelo & Rose Stewart with illustrator Jeff Taylor – this Noctilucent Mumma thanks you for your excellent work and for making my job a truck load easier.
Btw, Here is the link again:
ps: this is not a sponsored or endorsed post. This is my independent opinion based on my child, his needs and our developmental journey. xx