Nov 7, 2009

Mom's Story; A Child Learns About MS


Mary Jo Nickum


Mary Jo Nickum is a retired librarian, freelance writer and editor. She was diagnosed with MS in 1989.  Today she lives in Fountain Hills, AZ.

Moms' Story: A Child Learns About MS is a book for children who encounter multiple sclerosis in the family. Eight-year-old Amy tells her story about the day her mother noticed something was wrong and the day she was diagnosed with MS. Amy, as the youngest family member, doesn't quite understand what it means to have MS and together with the rest of the family, she learns more about the disease and how to make thinks easier for mommy.

The book is told by a child to children. Written in the voice of Amy, no kid should find it difficult to follow. In a very simple and clear way, Mary provides the basic facts about MS, facts that every child should know if there is a family member with the disease and that they can easily understand. The book provides plenty of useful resources such as websites, books, DVDs, associations and groups. There is also a glossary on MS-related terms and an explanation on basic types of MS and MRI procedure. I admit, I learned a lot from it. A spot that made my heart cringe was when Amy asks if mommy was going to die. No child should be faced with this question without a quick and reassuring NO! Don't forget that kids feel everything and think hard about what is going in the family.

Children, as Mary says, are far less fragile than we think sometimes but if they don't understand something, it can lead to frustration, anger and fear. My impression is that this is a very valuable and useful book for everyone who knows someone with MS (and we all do), not only for children, but adults alike. I can see it being used not only in families facing MS, but also by everyone who works with children.

Oh, and did I say I absolutely adore this cover?

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