First-time author Anita Miranda and Living Disabled Publishing are proud to announce a NEW SERIES OF EDUCATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOKS dealing with “Living Disabled in Our Home,” inaugural release of first in a 10-volume disability series with Nana’s Helping Hand.
“The time is now to educate our children regarding living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the home” says Anita Miranda, in regards to the first book of the series, “Nana Knows: Nana’s Helping Hand with PTSD,” which focuses on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and what it means to our children.
Psychological trauma, in all its forms, is both invisible to the eye and non-selective in those it afflicts. Alarmingly, many parents try to disguise or deny their disability, despite the problems it can cause. More veterans have returned home in recent years, many of whom have been or will be diagnosed with PTSD, a form of psychological handicap which, until recently, was known strictly as a military disability. Those enduring the symptoms of PTSD include both civilians and law enforcement personnel, like in the case of Phoenix Police Officer Craig Tiger, a man who ultimately took his own life. It is widely agreed amongst mental health experts that PTSD is a very real concern in first responders, according to CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). PTSD diagnoses are on the rise, while 15% of the world’s population is living with a major disability of one sort or another. The odds are high that a family member or friend falls within the aforementioned 15% figure. Such a high percentage, and so harsh a reality, demands a reevaluation of just how it is we, as a society, deal with disabilities.
“PTSD does not have a cure and will not go away but the treatments today allow functionality and a sense of well-being to accomplish any task. You just have to do the work. There is no pill or an easy way,” says Anita.
These books appeal to a wide and diverse preschool-middle school audience, as well as to parents. The “Nana Knows Series”–created upon the Living Disabled Not Dead platform–has been authored with the mindset that stories are often able to ease the discussion of sensitive topics. Surprisingly, children’s books rarely address the hardships that stem from living with a disability in the home. Now, for the first time, a children’s book is doing just that, and doing so in a way that children are already used to–through colorful and vibrantly illustrated stories. “Nana Knows” encourages meaningful discussions right away with the use of compelling characters such as Nana, a wise and compassionate grandmother (despite her disability), diverse neighborhood children, and loveable family pets. “Nana Knows” also provides life lessons, valuable teaching techniques, and follow-up questions to further address the challenge of living with or alongside different disabilities. The beauty of this approach lies in its general calm nature and informal tone; it’s neither intimidating nor overbearing to children. As children begin to realize the underlying nature and themes of these works, the message has already started to leave an imprint, which is certain to remain long after the book has been shelved. Several psychological studies have suggested and revealed that children are often more understanding and resilient than most parents or adults tend to believe. It is never too early (or too late) to have “The Talk” with our children about living disabled.
Anita Miranda is a mother, grandmother and United States Navy veteran inspired to truly enrich and expand the young minds of tomorrow. From ward of the court to Navy recruit, Anita found her passion and sense of belonging when she swore in at the Naval Command Center. Tragedy struck her early, however, when she obeyed a direct order from a Petty officer, and she is now actively living with PTSD. She tried to move on, but when the world saw the horrors of 9/11, Anita was struck by her first flashback. Shortly after, Anita lost everything for which she had worked so hard, hitting rock bottom two years later.
One day, her psychiatrist, Dr. Allen, noticed that Anita seemed to have aged by 20 years, had little energy, and had signs of depression. She took Anita’s hands in her own, looked her in the eye and said, “Miranda, you are disabled not dead. Start living.” That day changed Anita’s life, and she took a leap of faith –aided by several resources, an amazing support staff, and patience from her peers at the Phoenix, AZ VA. It was too late for her children, who had grown up and moved on. Anita wanted to explain to them what she had learned about PTSD, how it affects the brain, what really goes on, and how much she loved them. But she had to continue on without any family support except for her youngest child. And because of the trust and love of this child, Anita created “Nana Knows: Nana’s Helping Hand with PTSD,” the first in a series. Her goal is to reach out to families and their children, to educate and motivate others to pass it along, generation to generation, because Nana “Truly” Knows.