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Date archive for: July 2015

Nerves & Excitement

Posted in Disability Awareness, Does it wet the bed?, Equality & Diversity, Making a difference, My writing, and Personal

I’ve finally finished writing my book.  Years of drafting, redrafting, agonising over the right words to convey my message, are finally at an end and I have set a date for publication: Monday 31st August 2015.

If I thought writing the book was hard, this bit is even more daunting.  Getting the formatting right, finalising the book cover, planning a successful launch and securing good reviews – these are things keeping me awake at night now! I feel like the hard work is only just beginning!  I know that selling the book will be much more difficult than writing it.

Putting your work “out there” for public scrutiny is nerve wracking and I was asked recently how I thought I would react to a negative review or comment. It was a difficult question as I really hope that everyone who buys the book will enjoy it, but I know that I have to be prepared for negative, as well as positive feedback.

But I’m also excited. I can’t wait to hear about my readers’ reactions to “Does it wet the bed?” and what they will take away from reading it.  I wonder who will read it and whether it will  alter the way they view disabled people. I wonder whether it will provoke conversation about how disabled people are treated and how society still needs to change. I hope so.

But more than anything, I hope that people will enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!

Disability Awareness for Children

Posted in Cerebral Palsy, Disability and kids, Disability Awareness, Does it wet the bed?, Equality & Diversity, Making a difference, and Personal

Last week, I went to a primary school to deliver my Disability Awareness for Kids workshops. The children were taking part in a Disability Awareness week but I was apprehensive about their reaction to me; a lady in a wheelchair who didn’t speak especially clearly. I realised that talking to a group of children was much more nerve wracking than a room full of adults.

But I needn’t have worried at all. The children were very receptive and I could tell from their reaction that they were understanding me. I explained all about my own disability, Cerebral Palsy, and then talked generally about other disabilities. I really wanted the kids to understand that disability isn’t bad – it’s actually a positive thing that we’re all different, disability or not.

It’s important that children are encouraged to ask questions and have them answered as honestly as possible. I expected questions like, “How fast does your wheelchair go?” or “What’s it like to be in a wheelchair?”   But I was blown away by some of the thoughtful, sensitive questions that some of the kids asked.

“Do you like being so independent?”, came one. I was glad that the children realised that being in a wheelchair wasn’t limiting me in any way. One question puzzled me to begin with, “Do you intend to make your own community?” I wasn’t sure what the pupil meant at first but with a little cajoling and input from his teacher, I realised what he meant. I explained to him that part of Flyinglady’s aim is to help other disabled people to achieve as much as I have and that I would be working on this aspect of my business in the future.

The children kept the questions coming and always seemed content with my straight forward, honest answers. They were especially surprised to hear that I have a little boy of my own and am releasing my own book, “Does it wet the bed?”, shortly. I left each classroom with clapping and a chorus of “thank-you” ringing in my ears. It’s always good to know that I’ve made a difference.

From September 2015, the Disability Awareness for Kids sessions will be available for free to schools in the Birmingham area. To book your session, please Contact Flyinglady.