With 1 in 20 children in South Africa suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and an estimated 1 million South African adults, the book 'All of these things are important to me' is the first fictional book launched in South Africa about the condition aimed at creating awareness for early detection and intervention.
The book, illustrated by David Griessel, is co-written by Prof Renata Schoeman, a psychiatrist, and the co-author of the South African management guidelines for ADHD, and celebrated author, Refiloe Moahloli.
The book explores the adventurous life of Zee in a short and colourful narrative in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu and Sesotho, and through its captivating storytelling, explains how a child with ADHD perceives and lives in the world.
The second part of the book offers a simple, but accurate explanation of ADHD: what it is, how it is diagnosed and how it is managed. It also offers valuable advice for parents, educators and health care professionals in understanding and managing ADHD.
“When undiagnosed or not effectively treated, ADHD often sees children being unfairly labelled as naughty, delinquent, unteachable, and as adults, as lazy or incompetent," said Prof Schoeman.
"It’s important to talk about ADHD and how it hampers educational performance, self-esteem, relationships and productivity. We also need to create awareness about other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse, which can sometimes surface when ADHD is either mistreated or goes undetected.”
Prof Schoeman added that the playful narrative of the book was intentional to ensure that children are entertained whilst parents use the scientific content as a resource to answer their child (ren) or even their own, questions about ADHD.