Wednesday, September 18, 2019


SEN Superpowers
A Geek Daddy received the featured products for free to review
Dealing with a child's learning disabilities can be confusing and frustrating for parents. I know because I've been there myself having to address problems arising from ADHD (Attention Deficit / Hyperactive Disorder) and Dyslexia impacting my own family. Knowing that these matters can be confusing and troublesome for adults to handle obviously these medical conditions are also overwhelming and scary for children to deal with. So when I saw a series of children's picture books by Tracy Packiam Alloway on the topic of special educational needs (SEN) that are meant to help families have a better understanding of these matters and help children overcome fears and stigmas associated with these diagnosis, this dad blogger felt compelled to share this valuable information with all of you.

The author is a Psychology professor and Graduate Program Director at the University of North Florida. She specializes in working memory and its role in learning from kindergarten through high school which often involves assisting students with special educational needs. Based upon these experiences she has created the SEN Superpowers series of books published by Quarto Kids.

The SEN Superpowers books celebrate the positive traits associated with common special education needs. Her goal is to boost the confidence and improve understanding of SEN with children that have these conditions as well as with their parents and kids' peers.  Individual books each cover a different topic including ADHD, anxiety, autism, and dyslexia. Alloway, along with illustrator Ana Sanfelippo, approach these topics with sensitivity by using entertaining stories to capture the attention of children which also get kids engaged in thinking about some weighty topics in a lighthearted way.

childrens book

childrens book

The SEN Superpowers stories are aimed for children between Kindergarten and 3rd Grade. In addition to the featured story, each book includes a page of discussion points to help reinforce informative and inspirational messaging, tips on how a child can boost his or her SEN Superpowers, and notes for parents and teachers regarding the topic being addressed. Recommended for children between ages 5 to 7 years old when SEN issues may be first beginning to arise or initially diagnosed. These books can be a comforting way to explain to children they have one of the conditions covered in the SEN Superpowers series and touch on how to address obstacles and problems that may be arising for them as a result of it.

Quarto Kids kindly sent two of the books in the series to look over: The Classroom Mystery: a book about ADHD + The Map Challenge: a book about dyslexia. Did you know that according to United States Centers for Disease Control 11% of children ages 4-10 in the country  have a diagnosis of ADHD? This medical condition impacts brain hindering attention and self-control.


Also did you know that according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities one in five students has a language based learning disability with the most common being Dyslexia. When someone has Dyslexia it affects areas of the brain that process language making it difficult for people to identify speech sounds and decode how they relate to letters and words when reading. To make all the SEN Superpowers books inclusive to those with Dyslexia they all are written to be accessible to children with this disability. The font, background colors, structure, layout and writing style for this book series consider the difficulties experienced by dyslexic readers and facilitate ease of reading.


Sammy loves playing outside and is excited to go camping with the scouts. However, after a frustrating day of having trouble reading the hiking map, Sammy wishes he never came. But when his troop's map blows away, it is up to Sammy to use his fantastic visual working memory to lead them safely back to their campsite. This makes Sammy a SEN Super Hero!

Map Challenge

In addition to the story, the book includes tips for children with Dyslexia to improve how they approach their studies, a discussion about how the situations in the story relate to the reader, along with reading and memory educational tips for parents and teachers. THE MAP CHALLENGE provides a subtle way to explain to children what Dyslexia is and how it can impact reading, writing, and spelling skills. It also provides examples of positive take aways from the story such as people with Dyslexia tend to have greater attributes in creativity, curiosity and imagination than others do.



Someone has been stealing food from Snowball, the classroom pet bunny! Izzy finds it hard to sit still and concentrate in class, but could she be the one to track down the culprit using her fantastic verbal working memory?


This book's story explains to children what ADHD is and why it may cause them to find it hard to focus on school work or get along with others. It provides handy tips to help children with ADHD yo boost concentration, improve focus and enhance their memory. Notes for parents and teachers address problems with inhibition, attention and keeping still that are a result of ADHD. THE CLASSROOM MYSTERY points out that children with ADHD also have positive attributes such as a tendency to be energetic, spontaneous, and good at problem-solving.

Special education needs

These books are a nice way to have a realistic yet comfortable conversation with young children about some very mature topics. They may also be a good way to provide a child's classmates a better understanding of what is going to help prevent teasing and bullying by promoting positivity at school. For more information about the SEN Superpowers series of picture books, go to Additional information on these topics can also be found at the International Dyslexia Association and The National Institute of Mental Health.

If you know a young child with the symptoms of these special educational needs or has been diagnosed with one of these conditions these are great books to share with him or her. Let these kids know they aren't alone and help them relate to their situation from the child's perspective portrayed in these books. The SEN Superpowers books are a nice way to start a conversation about moving forward in a positive manner by making lemonade out of the lemons life has thrown at you. These books absolutely get a Geek Daddy nod of approval!

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