Book on Tourette Syndrome by a pre-school child advocating for inclusion is now an educational resource in schools across Singapore.
Tourette Syndrome and Me by six-year-old Zachary with Tourette syndrome and published by the EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF), is based on a heart-to-heart talk between Zachary and his principal, Ms. Josephyne Ho from EtonHouse Pre-School. The interactive read-along book comes with augmented reality (AR) features and will be distributed to 800 primary schools, kindergartens, and pre-schools around Singapore. It will also be available at public libraries and Molly, the Mobile Library operated by National Library Board to serve special needs students.
Tourette Syndrome and Me was first published digitally on social media in October 2020. It quickly caught attention from parents, teachers, and education leaders, expressing how meaningful the book was for children.
Very soon, ECF started receiving requests for this book to be shared with their school communities. To further its cause and enable more children to access this book, ECF raised funds to produce it in an interactive, physical format as an educational resource for pre-school and primary schools.
This book gives an authentic glimpse into Zachary’s fears and anxieties. “I didn’t want to go to school because I didn’t want my friends to see my twitching. I was worried that my friends would laugh at me.” When he realised that his friends’ reactions were because they did not understand Tourette Syndrome, he set out to create awareness amongst them about it. Encouraged by his principal and supported by ECF, he co-created this book, a process that has made him more confident and less fearful of the reactions from his peers. Through this book, he wanted to help others understand that there is nothing wrong with being different.
This book aims to:
Help children develop empathy to build warm, kind, and respectful connections with others
Raise awareness about different abilities and celebrate diversity
Create opportunities for adults to have sensitive and healing conversations with children
Empower children to inspire others
Ms. Josehyne Ho, Senior Principal of EtonHouse Pre-School 223 Mountbatten, who initiated this book, says, “I hope that more people can understand the potentially difficult social struggles and stigma, real or imagined, that children with Tourette Syndrome have to endure. I also wish for this book to offer parents with children who are in similar situations a platform to start conversations about how they can overcome their fears and talk about them with confidence.”
The book is being retailed at S$25 per copy for fundraising. All proceeds from the sales of the book will go to activities for underprivileged children. Get your copy here.