Please Explain Alzheimer’s Disease to Me – A Children’s Story and Parent Handbook About Dementia introduces the condition to children in a colorful, sensitive and gentle story, followed by a parent/caregiver section that supplies comprehensive information that adults can use to understand and plan for the course of the disease affecting their loved one.
Dr. Zelinger, a board-certified psychologist for children, presents the situation to children in a warm, developmentally appropriate way using appealing characters of diversity, child friendly language and familiar scenes they can relate to, as well as scripts that parents can use when speaking to their child. This book is more than a helpful guide-it’s the only book you will need if you have a child who is asking, “What’s wrong with grandpa?”
Below: Laurie and her Dad (at age 101)
- Enjoy the story and illustrations and will identify with the main characters
- Get answers to their questions
- Grasp the nature and reason for a grandparent’s changes
- Learn basic biological information about brain function
- Understand why a grandparent will require more care
- Feel empowered and find ways they can be helpful
Parents and caregivers will:
- Have word-for-word scripts available to answer their child’s questions
- Learn about the progression of the disease
- Understand their role and the nature of care that is required
- Gain information for decision-making in areas of medical, emotional and daily care
- Know they are not alone in this difficult journey
Excerpt from LIHerald.com Five Towns : “Cedarhurst Psychologist Writes ‘Please Explain Alzheimer’s Disease to Me'” (July 15, 2021)
Read the entire article
Casey O’Brien Martin, a school adjustment counselor, found the book to be a great resource to offer parents who come to her for help explaining a grandparent’s Alzheimer’s to their children.
“I feel like I have a go-to book on that,” Martin said. “So many times with kids, if they see their difficult experiences in a book it’s just so validating for them. I love that it talks about the changes and all the changes for the kid that are kind of hard to adjust to … it made it really simple for a child to understand.”
The second half of the book features information for parents including facts about Alzheimer’s, tips for dealing with loved ones with the disease, and a question and answer section on how to address a child’s questions.
Zelinger stressed that parental teaching is important to help a child’s understanding and development. “I want parents also to get information,” she said. “I want them to better understand the disease and know how to address the child’s questions at the child’s developmental level so that the child gains understanding and is satisfied with the answers that they get.”
Guest Blog Post
Whole Child Counseling – How to Explain Alzheimer’s Disease to Children
This book will help families proficiently manage – when they have to engage with kids about questions regarding Alzheimer’s disease. You can only imagine how confusing and scary it can become for young children, especially if someone very close to the family is diagnosed with the disease. Little kids are often confused about the behavior of their elder ones. It is difficult for parents to find pertinent knowledge and aid to explain it to the kids. That is when “Please Explain ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’ to Me” emerges as the sole supporting pillar!
— Joyeeta Mukherjee for Quotidian Tales, May 5, 2022 – CLICK HERE to read the complete review
“Dr. Zelinger has provided an engaging book that presents important information in a user-friendly format and offers adults the foundation for easily engaging children in what may initially seem like a very difficult discussion. I will be sure to recommend this resource to everyone I know in the ‘sandwich generation.'”
— Shane S. Bush, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified in Geropsychology, President, American Board of Geropsychology
“Dr. Zelinger’s book helps take the mystery out of a truly mystifying disease. The children’s story will help reduce the anxiety and fear a child may have when faced with one suffering from Alzheimer’s, and the adult portion of this book gives practical examples to help guide the adult when questions arise. A truly informative and inspired book.”
— Marilyn Cherney, occupational therapist; grandmother
“…A very much needed book to explain a very difficult topic to our children and ourselves. Dr. Zelinger’s warmth, insight and clinical judgment shine through her every page! This is a superlative book that will get front row billing on my office bookshelf. “
–Deborah Lief-Dienstag MD, FAAP, pediatrician
“Dr. Zelinger takes a painful topic for both children and parents alike and turns it into a beautiful story and a detailed handbook that gives us the tools we need to broach a topic we all hope to never have to face. This book is a must-read for families facing the challenges that come along with a loved one experiencing Alzheimer’s disease.”
— Avi Satt, president, Allegria Senior Living