28. A Story of Inclusion with Eleanor Baggaley- Author of ‘Ava The Mermaid’


Hello and welcome to the If We Knew Then Podcast, I’m Stephen Saux

And I’mLori Saux

And today we’re joined by Eleanor Baggaley from England who is a mom and author.

She’s written many books but the story that got our attention was ‘Ava The Mermaid’ which is a story about inclusion seen through the eyes of a mermaid and this book is a great introduction to inclusion they can be shared with your entire family and support an inclusive foundation for adults and children alike so let’s get on with the interview thank you so much for coming on the podcast that knows a pleasure to be Hey could you start off with just tell us a little bit about yourself I am a mom of three first and foremost I suppose I used to be a secondary school teacher teaching maths I left a classroom behind a in two thousand seventeen as I decided that I wanted to kind of make more of a difference to more children desire I kind of huge various different ventures some of them kind of supported maths teachers then starting to write the children’s books and a few different other things as well what what is your relationship and and history with down syndrome my youngest daughter ava was born in two thousand and eighteen I am and that was kind of our way leap into their the world down syndrome as a Paris did you know anything about down center before it was born not really I I remember when I weighs a little Gail and I was a brownies there was another Gail issue a stocky brownies with those and I knew she had down syndrome she wasn’t that for very long and it was kind of it felt like it was kind of always been the lifetime away so you know in all honesty I didn’t really know much about biotech before kind of having a friend can you remember what your experience and brownies can can you think back and what was said about down syndrome when she came and what your impression was that well I think it was it was an honor and she was an unknown and obviously she didn’t need to be sure it’s just another KO one memory that stuck with me ways out remember so we we had kind of hoodies on and she was right the team behind me and she was pulling on the hoodie and he was strangling me that was the one member that spoke with me and it wasn’t it could have been any child that didn’t happen I suppose I’d be more to kind of stayed with me about Hey we’ve taken that is I don’t think she was there for very long with the brownies but I don’t know whether that was whether we didn’t make you feel welcome or what that was I don’t know but I think the main thing was probably that there was an unknown element of the space and that was that do you think that influenced your perception or how you felt about down syndrome then going to your life I would have said no because I don’t think it although it’s a memory that I still have now I had never really thought about it until the day we got the confirmation of the diagnosis eva if I’m honest with you so I don’t think it would have really impacted on how I thought of people with down syndrome I probably didn’t think about down syndrome in general very often if I’m honest with you and how did it then you said it it didn’t really impact you until you got your diagnosis with eva how at that point did it impact how you felt about the diagnosis I think this is so Hey we had a postnatal diagnosis is she was a pretty a day or two old but when we kind of got a command I suppose there are elements where we felt sad it faced at my face though it’s way what I did wrong to for this to happen obviously I don’t feel like that anymore %HESITATION exposed there was that kind of I don’t want a child he’s getting be rejected by a group of people like it brownies I I don’t want a child to you Hey he’s going to AA find it difficult to fit in hence the kind of pulling on her the job isn’t struggling people so the answer is that where kind of eight is she going to be like this so they well the K. L. A. she knocked it to be honest with you I quickly change that it was very much kind of a probably within a couple of hours it was very much a this isn’t gonna define define Hey life she’s a bat and she’s going to be exactly who she wants to be and down syndrome is not going to define Hey in any way shape or form I appreciate your honesty my questions are more geared towards in the past I feel like there wasn’t a lot of inclusion with people with down syndrome or the what was included was a very limited perception of course with you know lack and fear really embedded in there and I think that because of that lack of inclusion or because the pursuance of you know embedding fear into new mothers or parents expected parents that’s what happens to us immediately when we get a diagnosis %HESITATION I’m sure there are some people who have enough experience that they don’t feel that at all but I think even if it’s just for a blip in that one moment we carry the load of everything that’s been presented up until this point and I think that’s what we strive to change in society is so one day hopefully sooner than later someone’s going to get a diagnosis and it’s just gonna be a diagnosis and it’s not gonna carry this weight this unjustified wait because I think across the board when we go into our experience of our children it quickly diminishes everything that we’ve been told yeah yeah well absolutely and I think I mean a lot a lot of what I do now is to try and kind of help make a change I week we kind of it a few different charities something so supporting them and all of that is there I don’t want new moms well I’m doctor space but I don’t want you parents to have those couple of hours off oh my god my will is ending and I don’t even I mean we were lucky for us it was a couple of hours at the most and possibly a little bit longer but there’s some people that really struggled with it for a long time actually the us the time they should be enjoying the children and yeah I think it’s really important for parents not to not check instantly think that he’s going to be something that’s remained alive is the end of the world because it it’s really not no you’re absolutely right and you can look on any of the you can down syndrome support boards and I think one of the hardest things for us to read is you’re always seen the page those parents that are still struggling and still %HESITATION still having those feelings or those thoughts we see a lot of like grandparents are secondary relationships who they’re just sad and I think that that inhibits the celebration never happens and then it just kind of gets passed on a past done so tell us a little bit about this work that you’re doing so what are the charities I help Hey I just hope with that social media is positive about down syndrome so there are you cation already that and that their cross kind of the whole of the UK they do various bits of wick wage changing kind of perceptions in schools with medical staff there’s a number of current kind of parent support groups and things as well and they were really wanted to face charges that I came across really ask day coming out of hospital it was both a pretty started googling and searching on their Facebook before I even left awestruck levels to wife I wasn’t ready answer most of my search Mr when I got home and they would want to face charges that came across so I reach out to them and I was in the car I really want to try and start making a difference that kind of stress placed onto smaller family who help you with any kind of social media that by actually get that even the messages that we can get out %HESITATION benefit and then in the northeast one of things we started doing was looking at how we can get I welcome packs into hospitals and at the moment it’s been on amicably approximate Tony’s with Hey we start just kind of look together there’s a group of us how we can kind of get these welcome packs in hospitals against the parents can can celebrate that that children that they have a kind of a little present for them M. and some information to help them so that they’re not as I was the first night on my own in bad Google in features of down syndrome and all these things what we’re trying to figure out what day she did have down syndrome or not B. as two two trying to to make a difference that as well so just before eva came you were teaching but then you stop teaching and you were mentioning books when did that start happening when you are writing prior to leaving school yes Sir %HESITATION I wrote a similar books are all named after the children my the unicorn Oscar the dragon I wrote I think I broke those while I was still teaching by didn’t actually publish them I didn’t even know where to start or what to do about publishing a book about two thousand seventeen to that beginning of two thousand and eighteen I think it was that I self published authors and obviously when it was born I knew that I needed to have a book written about him as well so it took me a little bit of time to kind of think about walks the theme of the book would be because about my book I I write so that the books do you promote positive mental wellbeing exploring emotions and I wanted something to be meaningful to you a fact and that was why I kind of hit book I decided to write about inclusion and kindness I am as I thought it was kind of quite what just summed up what he was wanting kind of forehead yes I read eva and it is a book about inclusion and %HESITATION you know once the mayor people understand they include her what has your experience with inclusion in a of a band in the real world Kim being completely honest with you we haven’t had any barriers and pocketed think have I read this book and actually it’s not an issue but I know that’s not always the case that I I do think that the message behind it is just kind of who is to reach as many people and and even if people I think young children do include children just a standard anyway that they’re not judgmental as adults and I think we’ve gone to a number if baby cribs toddler groups she has always been welcomed by people who are running them by %HESITATION the parents but with the children I’ve not felt that we’ve walked into anyway that and fell on the outside sorry %HESITATION whether way fortunate or whether that things are just improving I don’t know well I like to think that you’re very fortunate and I’d also like to think that things are improving maybe because you’re so aware and such an advocate and you know working with positive about down syndrome you can create that as well but I doubt I definitely believe that your book is good for inclusion because it isn’t yet the norm I think as far as children accepting other children that is definitely been our experience with Liam it was more the parents and the adults that had a hard time including him late you know especially when I’m talking about going to school like in kindergarten we had you know in a class of twenty four by five requests really of wanting us to create a book to explain down syndrome and want to know what to tell talk to their kids about I which we’ve never had parents ask us how to parent before his it was it was definitely felt like that wasn’t the real question that they were asking it was more why is your child in my class so I think it’s a great book because maybe in the first grade we started to see the kids start to become aware of differences and if they can have those seeds of inclusion already in them just like you have those seats already went in you than when it could become a possibility it’s not does that make sense yeah I completely and I think I will I stay on the phone with my other two books I know that when parents have read them with their children they said that he’s made them stop and think about the themes within there is and I think that’s that is kind of similar with thanks that if we don’t address a so yes children included days but actually if we don’t address is an issue and and start to think about it and actually I think that’s when it kind of kind of went away as children get older and and become adults was it a feat so his address and we look at it and have a focus on it then it’s something that is easy these two problems to this is the one is that we should be more aware of how we can include people but then there’s also that well actually we just treat everybody the same that we don’t actually have to think about inclusion but it was an element of that case sometimes we do have to think about how to include them because we caught treat everybody the same in some respects we maybe we have to think about how we can adapt included this I think you’re right it’s if you get those new bile mines that are fresh and you and you present it it has this way of then it maybe won’t become a problem because you’ve already discussed Hey we include everyone right so when it’s not a problem you discuss it and then when it could become a challenge it’s not there because you’ve already addressed why we include everyone if you really think about it across the board we have different we adapt we adapt in different relationships we we adapt to different personalities and I think what’s needed is the normalization that you know we adapt to everybody when you go to school you adopt your teacher you maybe talk to your principal differently than you talk to your teacher you know when you go to the grocery store and there’s a stranger there you would doubt so we’re always adapting to everyone and I and I think my goal is why make a big deal out of this adaptation why put so much pressure and negativity and try to make it any different than adapting to any other relationship that we have right yeah what a great way to also reach the parents because the children’s book that you’re going to read together and so this is a way for the parents to maybe get a little insight on what inclusion is and and how they see their their children so accepting that maybe they can go back to how they were when they were kids and realize some things that they might have forgotten yeah absolutely and the other thing with the book is flat is that it has activities at the back of the story and one of them is to highlight that actually we do will struggle with things and we do will need help sorry %HESITATION kind of having that discussion times where I live and even kind of children see in that parents are actually I struggle with something as well and sometimes I need to get help from other people I think those reminders that we had we not all perfect as well at the end of the day and and we can help each other out and it doesn’t matter if you is helping Hugh grant with walk there actually we we can all work together we can all included checked bag in our experiences to support each other what is the best way to actually purchase your book from the states is there a way to do that yet they’re on %HESITATION is enough if they are on Amazon great because %HESITATION so I’ve just this week as well so I wrote the book and looked on hold AT the maybe it goes to hospital at some point contact with me to see if I write this book to raise money for children’s mental health anyway if you went as part of a big collaborative ebook but is now available as its aim because while I am so that one’s it exploring children’s emotions if a loved one goes into hospital so we ready for me inspected when she went in with a heart surgery but it was kind of with Kobe mines the obviously people if it got looked one’s going into hospital and things with that and and a lot of unknowns sorry what that one has just gone out on Thomas in this last week as well well as a mom as an author what do you want people to know about down syndrome I think it kind of goes back to what I said at the beginning really slow is that it isn’t to be fed I mean eva has brought was so much joy even I mean she’s two and a half years old now and we’ve had so much joy in these two and a half years it’s made us I suppose slow down and I think expectations that we maybe had at the %HESITATION the two children not that we we’ve lowered our expectations of any if they’re booked it’s just me just kind of look take a step back and I think it it just helps you kind of look at the world with a different perspective in a positive way I think I think the main thing is that actually well as I say you don’t it’s nothing to be fate is nothing to be sorry about and it just helps you look at the world with a fresh pair of eyes have you seen changes positive changes in the down syndrome community I think in there well certainly within the last two and a half days what I’ve seen is that this mall mall where it can go into the school side of things to highlight children so the church that took Riley post about down syndrome they’re actually using my aim for the manmade books as one of the tools and that putting together a whole host of other resources as teaching tools within within schools within mainstream schools I think there’s still a long way to go in terms of the support is needed in in certain areas but there has been a lot of kind of positive change happening in terms of helping people to understand down syndrome Baxter you are you are we had begun to speak about the welcome packs is that something that you were successful in getting and hospitals that hasn’t happened that they’re not in the hospitals a that is something that still needs it to change in terms of hospitals are accepting them and wanting them so there has been a mixed response some have responded more positively than others so there is still work to do with that at the moment with hospitals being is as busy as they have been recently am I that hasn’t necessarily been a priority and it’s something that can I’m looking tape pickup once things have calmed down within the hospitals really can you tell me what you’d put in the in the welcome packs and I’m sorry what in the packs then there is a copy of a for the maybe just well at left it to parents just to explain about a hour experiences of having our little ones a little gift for mum a little gift for baby and some electric check from at some of the charges are posted by down syndrome and wouldn’t change a thing in a couple of the other day U. K. charities and local charities so the support groups that they can access because again that was another thing that when I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a support group that we could go to to help with avis development so I think it’s really important that parents are aware of what support they reach out that locally and nationally to be able to kind of help them and the little ones I’m curious what kind of resistance did you get from hospitals and delivering these welcome packs to new moms I I’m not entirely sure if it was in tams off not sure whether they went the right thing to begin I will I think some of it some of their queries where they didn’t know whether they would have the storage space to keep them in order to give opportunity to parents and sorry eight yes it’s kind of an unknown variants tryin get three you too some of them I guess having a national health care service I guess there could be some more red tape in there although if if we try to do that on a national level in the United States I think you’d have to go to each individual hospital and it would be individualized more I do I think about this when something becomes like a a government issue maybe they think of liability or they think of all the literature needs to be reviewed first and and talked about I guess there’s no excuse yeah there’s there isn’t really no excuse because I think that there’s never a question for the heavy handed test that they try to push and the conversations that are completely unsolicited with the medical profession at so many just horror stories from moms who whether you know we were very fortunate we we received our diagnosis afterwards so we didn’t get the pre push really with with Liam if we even even after the fact we did receive so much negativity and I think that you know if that’s something that’s readily available than someone to come in and say Hey you know what here’s a great letter here’s some support groups here’s a gift you might be you know needing a little pick me up because I think that on until the whole conversation changes until the narrative changes then we will need that we will it’s only natural to have that like that fear that feeling whatever it is in your heart because the it’s all you’ve been told so I think as the conversation changes as we get these books out there about inclusion about differences about you know just kindness and until that becomes the new now moms are gonna feel that families are going to it to feel that you know if we can minimize that as much as possible then I think that changes moving forward every step every step in a positive direction every every kind word every reassurance I mean the the impact is profound yeah I I think one of the issues is kind of the liability off if this information is given out huge wet wet is that kind of stuff but yes I agree with you as well there is no excuse whatsoever and the conversations do you need to change it does need to have a more positive span and they should work with the people I mean again we were lucky as well it faced I was thinking I wish I’d known in pregnancy to have prepared myself but actually having some of the horror stories from other moms I’m glad I didn’t I’m glad I was gonna say I enjoyed my pregnancy as much as I could but Hey yeah I think what that people say the way it’s I’m sorry books or whether they just have that sorry look on their face when they’re delivering that news that needs to change and the more positive or even the more normal it becomes to deliver the news off oh by the way your child has down syndrome is nothing to be worried about his information and this is this is the support that you can get and I think I think that kind of the way the news is delivered and the way that people speak about it really does need to change Eleanor I absolutely agree with you I felt so fortunate to be able to enjoy my pregnancy because I did I think that’s that’s what’s being robbed of these families and I would constantly seen stories and it’s just it’s just fear and there it’s so not grounded and I I wish I could reach each mama that feeling that way because I I would just want them to have come for and to not worry any any more than they would worry about any pregnancy or any child you know because because that fear isn’t one it’s not gonna change anything it’s just going to make things worse it’s going to create so much stress and it’s not real you know we do know is that our children sometimes experience certain health risks but every child has health risks the truth is is they come to you and date they presented in a way that this is all the problems well you know if we could just spend that and say thank you D. D. you didn’t give me a list when my typical daughter was born and so I worried about everything if we as a community can start to change our mindset and and the truth is that list that they give no matter how they deliver it even though they deliver it completely inappropriate with the heavy handed gauge on what route they want that to go it can be looked at as a gift just like knowing when you’re pregnant you can say oh okay since I know that these can be some of the challenges and having down syndrome you can reach out to the organizations and start to get support start to get physical therapy in place occupational therapy you know you’re gonna need some speech %HESITATION child development those are things we can use the negativity and we can turn it into a gift and use it to our benefit you know because with our daughter Sophia even I will talk and say we we weren’t given a list with her and then you’re just you know you’re a parent you know bumbling through every milestone without any idea of what’s going on at least the first time that’s what we did I mean I I agree completely with it like I feel that we were fortunate knowing from when she was complete days old that she had gone through and we knew that we could actually stop putting things in place to support Hey kind of developmentally physically and we found out that she had a hole in the heart at three days old as well so we we we were prepared for all that and I think what’s different wave kind of typically developing children is there actually something could hit at any point that you were not prepared for and I feel that I actually with David we all fall more protagonists for putting things in place and planning and helping Hey then if one of my other two children if something happened that it would be a complete shock in it which I mean I think now we’re kind of having been through experiences today that we would be in a better place to cope with it but how do we know how David had we not kind of gone through various experiences that we had if something were to happen to you I do feel the J. O. if we had a late diagnosis of something or anything like that I feel that it would have been hard at you kind of get your head round and sort things out so I do think it’s actually a much less about trying to teach knowing knowing that child has down syndrome you know you know the you know what to expect there are still elements but names but we know what we can prepare for and helpful far more than any of their surprise that might happen it’s about this community taking its power back and I think speaking to this morning I was thinking would it be great as if in the moment where you got the diagnosis from the grimmest face of just tortured like I might tell you the worst thing ever if at that moment you could say thank you now can you find a better %HESITATION way to say that but if we could at that moment say now can you find a better way to communicate what you want to communicate to me because if there’s some nugget that you want to communicate that would be helpful I’d like it but can you find a way that’s not like ripping the rug from underneath my feet if we could if we could just do that because I do think that we can take what they’re saying and use it to our advantage we can take the information that they have in their folders that I don’t I would love to see it to be delivered in a in a way that they actually mean to benefit the parent but it’s I’ve not yet heard a story where it was delivered in a way that’s meant to benefit the parent but if we could get that information and then and then use it as a gift use it as something positive I know what happened with us was that it was so negative that then whatever’s in that folder I don’t even look at you know so if it was something that would help me because you don’t want to touch it because you already know are you already have this opinion of what’s in there is just meant to kind to destroy your it’s just filled with negativity but the truth is is there there may be be positive things in there that we can use so maybe we can take that conversation and ignore how it’s being delivered by but take the gift of of the knowledge so we can empower ourselves yeah I mean one of the things I I start giggling because I wasn’t gonna house I didn’t want the negative side Saaremaa husband inside well she she’ll probably never drive so I Google it how many people down syndrome have driving licences and that way that way quite a lot of like see she might be able to drive it to be honest the other two might not even be able to drive in you don’t know how but they’re going to pay and examples of wooden strip you’ve got married and things like that so I was looking I was actively looking for the the positive things that we expect image comics our children to do as they grow up so I get what it wants to kind of see that the positive side of well actually it doesn’t matter it’s irrelevant that she has down syndrome for these things that that that was kind of landmarks M. as our children grow into adults that that they can still happen and they are still possible and their possible if we if we know they’re possible and we tell our children their possible because if we don’t believe it’s possible we’re not going to send any other message to our kids then this is impossible and I think it’s funny you mention driving because I I %HESITATION it’s us I’m so excited for at the Tesla and the automated is that autonomous driving because I’m like now one I don’t have to worry about Sophia right and then also did I challenge you to tell me the amount drive a car because these cars are gonna be autonomous so you know that’s that takes in another or worry off of my plate for for both of them %HESITATION I think that we need to make lists of all of those things that people you know because we have we see these conversations all the time where my child will never get married yeah and first of all I don’t know why that’s a big deal because I have of a lot of friends that aren’t married I think you know that’s I don’t I don’t know why the pressure is put on them that isn’t necessarily up up a pressure that your child also may just choose not to get married do you know but maybe we need a list of all these instead of it just being here and there we just need to compile lists of all the great things so every fair question that it a new parent might help that they’ve been told they’ll never do just list at least five names of yeah you you can if you want and it is a possibility and so that parents can have that to see that no it is it’s not it’s not like when people landed on the moon for the first time it’s actually something that is done and it’s really just shift your thinking and to opening the possibilities for your children that you have for your same typical children yes absolutely the fact that we don’t know what I was just thinking I don’t know what any of my three children against Dave it’s entirely up to them how they live their lives to and what happens in I don’t believe that things should be different for a van then they offer the the team our podcast called if we knew then and we often try to ask our guests and if we knew then question if they had a statement that they would they could share with us something they they wish they knew then it would be if I knew when I was born how much love was going to come away from all of my friends and family at the time plus everybody that she would meet in her life I would not have been anywhere near as worried as I watched I agree with that statement that’s that’s a that’s something I I think about all the time yeah we went at one of our space my worries when I was telling people I am about his diagnosis was kind of will they accept a friends and family and I was very cautious as to where he was told to start off with but I really need in every part of life worried I told it was just I think it’s testament to the people I surround myself with really that I think I only had one person he said I’m sorry but everyone else is just so welcoming and then everyone that if it’s meant since just absolutely adore Hey I think that’s why I I wish parents knew was out there you know I wish that was on the forefront just like with any birth and and and honestly I also wish it was the truth for every parent because I do I do feel that parents are challenged by their circles around them and you’re very fortunate that eva was received and loved and supported but I do see and I do believe that there are some parents that are out there and when they receive a diagnosis or when their child is born that they’re not as fortunate and they do receive you know those looks that we get into it I know that we received in the Nick you and they do receive that from people that are meant to list them and I think that hits them so hard and I think it makes the road so much more challenging and unnecessary because now we’re apologizing for something we shouldn’t have to apologize for and you know shame on the people who make them feel that way because yours they’re they’re they lose that that joy that celebration and that definitely sets a foundation of challenge and then it it propagates all of those stereo types in those negative beliefs it’s just not necessary and it’s so not fair and I’ve seen a lot of that %HESITATION Eleanor recently on on some of the groups that were part of and I just my heart goes out to them because if if there’s anybody that has experience that that’s listening I just I just want them to be free of whatever is being put on them from other people because what what’s been put on them is based somewhere so long ago when our children were taken from us or put in institutions and and this is what the stereo type is this is the perception that’s out there and we forget to reflect on the fact that if you pulled anyone out of society and you put up the limits and boundaries telling them all the things that they were incapable of doing that if if that is all someone hears eventually that’s what they’re gonna belief and I’m so glad that eva has that love and she has such a strong powerful advocate as a mom I’m she’s so she’s so fortunate and I hope with all these things that you’re doing out there that that is the new the new normal that is the the new beginning for for these families for all the families you know well yes I mean yes I am I live kind of helping people in any way I can I think that’s pretty wild I became a teacher in the face place and I would I really would love to spend my legacy to be that I have I’ve helped I’ve made a difference in people’s lives in one way or another and if I can kind of do that within the down syndrome community then I will die happy as a teacher as someone who who taught how does that impact what your vision and plan is for eva everyday so I I would love a rich field to go to it and mainstream school and I don’t think there’s any reason why she should be able to so we use market town at home as well with a friend to support a communication I’m I’m one of the things that I have done is gone into my older children’s primary school and I did some after school activities with them teaching them how to use my coupon and as was introduced in a bid to them introduce them to a fact they all knew it they she had down syndrome we explained what down syndrome was as well and I think the mole that we can make children aware as well then the most successful integration into mainstream schooling can be as well and I and I don’t I don’t want any barriers for a bank to be able to go through school if we find the right school for head like if we found the right school for any of our children how do you introduce them to eva I was just thinking back to when I took her in or they would just I think they just they just saw a baby to be honest they knew that she was Myron Oscar’s youngest sister we just spoke with well obviously I was kind of going through signing with them so I just explained that the reasons why we signed in that she had down syndrome and it would mean that she would possibly find a little bit harder will be slow to learn to speak and that we used sign in as there is a way to support her with that it is because it came from from that way and we just explains that they’re having downstream might mean that she did struggle with certain things but are they they just they %HESITATION just wanted to say on the enemies and pastor Helen firm from past and present as well Hey so it’s really lovely to see the actually day kind of welcome Hey into their retirement into that class remains N. what in addition to the mac town do you do to integrate down syndrome I have sent so when overseas down syndrome awareness month this month is violent which is the bottom and they’ve been doing kind of products and things so I’ve I’ve contacted the school and given them some information SO that obviously at the moment we conquer wanes I mean I’ve been into brownies as well and and we’ve talked about it with my eyes brownie green when she was a brownies but even just kind of giving them information that they’re able to use in assemblies and lessons and things like that as well I am just help talk about Joe Biden’s Graham I think I think the biggest thing is having met someone with down syndrome and and that was why I wanted to kind of take a breath and to meet the students as well so that they could see that she was just like any other baby we always love talking to parents of children with down syndrome has been particularly nice to talk to you I mean we get to talk we’re lucky that we get to talk to people from all over the world and kind of get an idea of of what our community is is thinking and what our community acts and reacts and it’s really been a pleasure talking to you and we thank you for your work in the community thank you for your books particularly even the mermaid that we read and the ideas that we have in common and Stephen I’ll make sure to put a link to a the mermaid in the in the notes so people know where to find it it is it’s a delightful story I appreciate the subtlety of a just that she has an extra color and her tail and I think it’s a it’s a it’s a great thing to just have for your kids to read because you’re teaching about inclusion with just a neutral introduction to Hey we’re all we’re all we all have an extra color inner tail and that color means something different to everyone as a society we need to and embrace those and we’re better when we embrace those I hope everybody gets a chance to read it put it on their shelf to read to their kids and introducing collusion as early as we can it would be great if inclusion wasn’t a thing it was just how we were and lived as a society yeah absolutely and I think that was why I wanted the book to be applicable to everyone not just people with down syndrome a with eight it is about general kindness and inclusion the fact that we we do what we should appreciate that we are all different I am yes I wanted to kind of make sure that the way not to down syndrome within that because because it is a Facebook so I did make their detail have three because they brought them to because she’s even got head heart surgery scar as well no I’ve wanted to do that when on that but she does have it has gone from heart surgery so yeah it is this kind of little kind of subtle notes through throughout the day the story with that but it is equally is kind of applicable to everybody in every situation I love it thank you so much Eleanor thank you for the book and thank you for the conversation this morning and I I I I do I always I always enjoyed connecting with other moms and families and and it’s so uplifting to hear the changes that you’re making and the steps that you’re taking to change the conversation thank you thank you for having me on to it we just always been an absolute pleasure.

Please follow us on Twitter @ifweknewthenPOD you can drop us a line on our Facebook page @ifweknewthenPOD or visit our website https://www.IfWeKnewThen.com to send us an email with questions and comments. You can join our mailing list there and get alerts of future podcast episodes. Thank you again and we look forward to you joining us on the next episode of IF WE KNEW THEN.

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: