Currey Ingram eighth grader Josiah Evans rattles off medical terms as if he is a third-year medical student. It is not surprising given his intellectual and academic acumen. But his knowledge comes from personal experience. For a 13-year-old, he has undergone a number of medical procedures because of his health. But that’s the plot of his second book.
His first book, published last year, is about his sister, Beth. “Beth's Umbrella: Loving My Sister With Special Needs” is a book he co-wrote with his mother, Kristin Hammer Evans, a licensed social worker. Mrs. Evans illustrated the self-published book.
Beth suffers from developmental and medical conditions. “She has difficulty talking and eating. She is developmentally delayed. She is fragile and at risk,” said Josiah.
As a big brother, Josiah is naturally protective of his sister. But he also acknowledges that it can be frustrating to have a sibling with special needs. And that is the premise of the book. “I want the readers to know that they are not alone. That caring for a special needs sibling or relative can be hard. It is okay when you get frustrated or feel as if your parents are spending more time with your special needs siblings. I want other kids like me to know that they are loved by their parents and guardians.”
Throughout the book, Josiah and his mother ask reflective questions, giving readers a chance to process their own experiences and emotions of caring for someone with special needs.
For his next book, Josiah is focusing on his own medical condition, isobutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase (IBCD) deficiency, which is a very rare condition that disrupts the breakdown of certain proteins. IBCD can cause growth and development issues but the range of signs and symptoms remains unclear because very few affected individuals have been reported.
Using his hospital experiences, Josiah hopes this second book will provide readers with knowledge about having to go to the hospital for a medical procedure. “I want to make people feel comfortable at the hospital, to learn more about what each person does who works at a hospital.”
Josiah’s high level of maturity stems from his breadth of life experiences. And he plans to use these experiences in the future – with dreams of attending Vanderbilt University and pursuing a career in medicine. Meanwhile, when he is not writing books, Josiah enjoys playing video games and spending time with his bearded dragon, named Dr. Brenner from Stranger Things.
(Beth's Umbrella: Loving My Sister With Special Needs is available for sale on Amazon.)
Currey Ingram Academy is an exemplary K-12 day and boarding school that empowers students with learning differences to reach their fullest potential. Since 2002, the school has been located on an 83-acre campus in Brentwood, Tenn., just miles from Nashville and Franklin. Families from 33 states and eight countries cite the school as their primary reason for moving to Middle Tennessee.
Currey Ingram Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and AdvancEd/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).