Alina is twelve years old, has additional support needs, is ‘non-speaking’ and needs help to cope with going to the doctor. Alina is also the main character in the latest book to be released by leading Scottish children’s health charity Children’s Health Scotland, entitled Alina meets the doctor.
“We are sending huge hugs and a big thank you to Alina who helped us to create a book through the eyes of a child that looks at ways to help children, young people, and those who love and care for them, to become more confident about going to the doctor,” said Helen Forrest, Chief Executive of Children’s Health Scotland.
“Through the use of health-related play, the book tells the story of how Alina worked through her anxieties to understand what was going on and to participate in decisions that affected her healthcare. This use of health-related play lies at the heart of a rights-based approach that helps children meet their healthcare rights. It recognises that play is essential to healthy development from birth to adulthood, contributing to the capacity for learning, resilience, and the development of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills. The book also informs adults about these rights, helping to gain insights into ways of meeting them. It is always worth remembering that to a child, play is about having fun, but to society it is much more.”
Children’s Health Scotland partnered with Alina and Isobel Mair School and Family Centre, in East Renfrewshire, to produce the book which supports children and young people with communication difficulties when they need to prepare for a visit to the doctor. The first part of the book is aimed at children, while the second part offers practical help and useful links for adults who are supporting these children.
Talking about Alina’s involvement as the star of the book, her mum Shazia Mohammed said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for inclusion. It means a lot to us that Alina is the star of a book that has the potential to help a lot of children. I am so proud of her.
The book aims to give an insight into behaviour and how we can use stories, play, breathing, and relaxation to calm and support a nervous child. A key to connecting with children and young people is using health-related play. The book costs £6.99 plus P&P and is now available to purchase directly from Children’s Health Scotland. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org