ISB student raises awareness about ADHD
International School Bangkok (ISB) is delighted to share the recent launch of “JJ’s Squiggly Mind” by 16-year old ISB student, Sasin (Emmy) Thamakaison. The story follows the life of JJ, a young Thai boy who is diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder). From his initial struggles both at home and at school, readers accompany JJ on his personal journey to understanding ADHD and integrating it as a positive part of his life and identity. “JJ’s Squiggly Mind” is one of the few child-friendly resources for ADHD developed in Thailand.
A Personal Story
The author, Emmy, has herself managed ADHD for more than 6 years. In the course of her diagnosis, Sasin came to realise that mental exceptionalities like ADHD are not just misunderstood, but are often stigmatized in Thai society. Often seen as attempts to justify “bad” behavior at home and at school, Sasin is concerned that misguided assumptions about mental exceptionalities result in neglect and other poor social outcomes for affected children. In her mission to give Thai children the chance to lead their best lives, Sasin wrote this bi-lingual story for 7-10 year olds. She hopes that young people, parents and educators will better understand ADHD and feel confident in getting the help and support they need. "I hope 'JJ's Squiggly Mind' helps inspire and guide children with ADHD on their own journeys of self discovery and understanding,” shared Emmy.
Developing Global Citizens
Philip Bowman, ISB High School Student Services, who worked with Emmy on this project shared, "Emmy's book and website go beyond caring for and having empathy for others. She has identified an innovative solution to a problem in the community and then worked towards bringing this solution into reality. Her hard work will make a difference in the lives of others."
ISB constantly strives to fulfil its ambition to be a school for the whole family. In practice, this means serving students who are diverse in both learning styles and learning support requirements. This commitment to inclusivity can be seen in our celebrated intensive needs classroom located at the centre of our campus. Maintaining a learning environment that accurately reflects diversity in society promotes our key attribute of global-mindedness within our learning community.
Within this spirit of nurturing caring global citizens, ISB is proud to promote such a creative and socially conscious initiative of one of its students.
“I love that we have students that want to advocate for awareness around learning differences, I love that we have teachers cultivating this support, I love that we work in a school where this work is important to everyone! The fact that our students are also activists for neurodiversity shows the true measure of ISB as an inclusive school,” shared Dr Keith Collins, ISB’s Director of Student Services.
The book is available in two formats: the ebook is available for free, and the print version is available for order here, with 100% of the profits going to foundations that help improve the lives of individuals with ADHD. She has also developed a website that takes her mission further and provides additional resources to the community.