Why I Wrote a Children's Book About Disabilities
Superheroes, princesses and animals fill children’s bookshelves. These stories have been told time and time again. I realized there was a topic missing from children’s books, one that tells a story of disabilities and differences, so I wrote “The Possibilities of Disabilities.”
“The Possibilities of Disabilities” tells the story of Elizabeth, a young girl with a physical disability, who finds her way to inclusion during recess. “The Possibilities of Disabilities” is suitable for most children ages 2-8.
When a child sees a person using a wheelchair, they usually stare — not out of rudeness or judgment, but out of pure curiosity. They may ask questions such as, “Why do they need to use that?” “Can I play with that person?” Some parents may instruct their children to look away or to be polite and not ask questions. Disability is a realm of unknown for most children, even though most kids will come in contact with someone with a disability.
I decided it was critical for children to be exposed to differences at a young age, whether those differences are of race, gender, religion or disability. Being disabled myself, I felt as though I had a genuine perspective about disabilities. In addition to having a personal connection with this topic, I also completed my Master’s degree in Family and Human Development. I spent years studying child development and was able to create a story that young children would be able to understand.
Not only is “The Possibilities of Disabilities” meant to encourage able-bodied children to understand their peers with disabilities, this book is for children who have disabilities themselves. Reading books that do not represent your experience can be difficult. Children rarely see disabilities represented in the media and can experience a sense of comfort when they see a person who is similar to them.
I hope this book can become a staple in households, schools, libraries and hospitals. It is important to normalize disabilities and make children aware of people’s differences while also accepting them.