About "Different is Just Different"


Shoo Bear is the ‘brainchild’ of Karen Tompkins. Karen is a teacher with a background in Special Education as well as Arts Across the Curriculum. She has devoted her career to ensuring that students of all ages believe that “different is just different.. it is not a judgement.”

Her older daughter, Erin, has Joubert Syndrome [www.jsfrcd.org ] and has struggled with “Why did God make me different? I don’t want to be different!”

The book is in response to wanting to help all people celebrate their differences.

Karen Tompkins' daughter started her education in a mainstream classroom with some supports for academics and her physical needs.  In grade 4, Erin started to notice that her best work was not the same as her classmates work. One day, Erin came home  very upset.  When questioned, she said through her tears:  "Why did God make me different?  I don't want to be different!".   The usual discussion of everyone is different just didn't sit well with Karen; after all, Erin felt that her difference was VERY different.  This book is a reflection of Erin's pain and Karen's learning that different is just different.... really.

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