The ‘Get to Know Me’ series is made up of resources aimed at children with additional needs. Developed by child psychologist Dr Louise Lightfoot and illustrated by Catherine Hicks, the series includes activities specific to anxiety, depression and OCD. This book, Draw Along With Silver Matilda, is an activity-based picture book story, in which individual children are encouraged to interact with the story in a creative way – through writing, drawing, scrap booking, collage, activities etc.
Active engagement helps children to understand and process information, and aids long-term recall. It has been designed to support the individual child and encourage an empathetic and inclusive environment. In this book, we meet Silver Matilda, a bird with silver feathers known for her beauty and graceful flight. The story follows Matilda as she loses her bright feathers and ashamed, hides away from the world until one day an owl comes and sits with her. The owl shows Matilda empathy and stays with her whilst she recovers and watches as she becomes stronger through her experience.
This book was written with children with depression in mind, providing an opportunity to relate to Matilda’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours and experiences. However, children with a range of needs may benefit from the story. The book is written in a narrative style, so it does not use diagnostic labels and is not intended for this purpose. Instead the focus is on creating a common language which children can understand and use to make sense of how they are feeling.
A practitioner guidebook is also available (ISBN 9780815349433).
Table of Contents
- Instructions for Practitioners, Parents and Carers
- Draw-along Silver Matilda
Dr Louise Lightfoot is an Educational and Child Psychologist working with children and young people aged 0-25. She holds a BA in Educational Studies, MEd in the Psychology of Education and doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology. Louise has worked in a variety of settings ranging from mainstream schools to secure units and psychiatric facilities, and has a special interest in working to empower at risk or ‘hard to reach’ groups. As a person who suffers with Ehlers Danlos, stroke and dyslexia, she has a first-hand understanding of the frustrations and difficulties that accompany a specific physical or learning difficulty.
Catherine Hicks is an East Yorkshire Artist, illustrator, wife and mother. She spent 13 years as a Registered Veterinary Nurse before injury and chronic illnesses lead to her creative hobby becoming therapy. When Catherine and Louise were introduced, it was obvious they were kindred spirits and from there the Get to Know Me Series was born.