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Disabilities as Superpowers | UNF professor's new books highlight the strengths of children with disabilities

A UNF professor's new books highlight the special abilities of children with disabilities.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Children with disabilities may not think they have a voice, but UNF professor Dr. Tracy Alloway is creating books that give children with learning disabilities superpowers and voices to spread awareness. 

As a professor of Psychology, Dr. Alloway studies memory and how that affects learning. She noticed that there’s always an emphasis on the struggles that children with disabilities face but they, “have these amazing memory strengths that we tend to overlook.”

She released two children’s books titled, "The Map Challenge: A Book about Dyslexia" and "The Classroom Mystery: A Book about ADHD." Dr. Alloway also has another in the works set to be released in October titled, "The Perfect Project: A Book about Autism." A book about anxiety is also in the works. 

"The Map Challenge: A Book about Dyslexia" follows Sammy. He is in charge of reading the map to help his scout group but gets confused reading left and right. But when the map blows away, his superpower shines. Sammy has a photographic memory and eventually leads his troop to safety. 

You can see how a book like this might help a child see the superpowers within themselves. Dr. Alloway also hopes these books will help parents and other children understand and accept children with disabilities. 

“When they have a friend with dyslexia, with AHDH or with autism, it’s not that they don’t want to behave a certain way, it’s that their brain is wired a certain way," She said, "and it helps them relate to these children as well.”

The books are aimed at kindergarteners through second-graders. 

Dr. Alloway will be at MOSH on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm for a special Sensory Night. 

Event in Jacksonville, FL by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway on Friday, July 26 2019

The Museum of Science and History will have modifications to sound and lighting, fewer guests and an accepting and inclusive environment for families. 

All ages are welcome to participate. There will be crafts, science experiments and more. Preregistration is not required, but you may purchase your tickets online in advance by clicking here. It’s the same as museum admission which is $5 for adults and $12 for children.