11-year-old’s story becomes book to help others

Heather Rose and son Isaac Sharples with his book and letters from pupils who have read and loved it.

AN ELEVEN-year-old boy’s battle to control his emotions has been captured in a child-friendly book to help other children struggling with everyday life.

Heather Rose, 41, from Haslingden, set up her business Mindset and Me a year ago when she realised the techniques she had used to help her son Isaac Sharples, cope with his ADHD and autism could also help others.

She said: “When he left nursery and started pre-school, there were signs. Our life was complicated and there had been a number of deaths in the family, but Isaac’s reactions were extreme and he showed violent behaviour. At school they labelled him as a ‘naughty boy’ and it took us five years to finally find out what was wrong, including paying for a private diagnosis.”

Through her business, Heather created a series of products to help other children including affirmation cards, worksheets and journals. On social media, she charted the progress Isaac had made since introducing the techniques and he starred in his own video when he recounted his journey. It has been viewed more than 8,000 times.

Now it has been turned into a children’s book – ‘Isaac the Master of Emotions’ which tells the story of a shy and struggling Isaac, who can’t cope with everyday experiences and how, with help from his toy Dragon, he finds a new path. Isaac, who attends Belmont School in Rawtenstall, said: “It is about how I learnt to manage my feelings, how I learnt to deal with the daily battles when I am angry or sad and how I learnt to keep control of my emotions.

“I find it difficult to make friends and sometimes I get very shy. If I went to a park I would struggle to go and make friends with children who were playing if I didn’t know them. Now in a morning my mum and I shout positive affirmations. ‘I am brave’, ‘I am strong’, ‘I am ready’ and it makes me feel happy and it changes the way I feel about the day.

“When things get on top of me I used not to be able to control myself and I would get into trouble. Now I just count to 10 and I take deep breaths and I remove myself and most of the time it works.”

Emma Pearsall, an emotional support teacher at Ashley High School and Sixth Form in Widnes – a specialist school for students with autism and social communication difficulties – has followed Isaac’s story on social media. She bought the book and read it to students and a delighted Isaac received 10 personally addressed letters.

He said: “They wrote to say how much they had enjoyed the book; that made me feel happy.”

Although Heather knew she wanted to turn Isaac’s journey into a book, it took six months before she found writer Emma Bowyer, who lives in New Zealand. Heather and Emma are both members of the international networking group Mums In Business Association (MIBA) and the book has been written in collaboration with Isaac and Heather.

Heather, who co-ordinates Lancashire and North Manchester MIBA and is also head co-ordinator for UK and Europe, said: “I have always wanted to bring out a book and wanted to Isaac’s story to inspire others. We want to get the book to as many children as possible so it can help them to be able to control their emotions and cope with daily life situations.

“I want to change strategies for mental health for future generations.”

The book is available from www.mindsetandme.com or email heather@mindsetandme.uk or like the Facebook page Mindset and Me.

by Catherine Smyth Media

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