Today I added a review of "Out of my Mind" by Sharon Draper to the "Books for Children Featuring Characters with Disabilities" website. I recently recommended this title to a ten year old customer with disabilities similar to that of the protagonist. I was absolutely delighted with her reaction--as well as convinced that this is an important title as well as a "good read." I would love some reviews from readers with disabilities different from mine--since my disabilities are all "invisible," it is often difficult for me to judge the accuracy of a title such as this, which discusses the experiences of a character whose disability is almost always the first thing people notice. The "emotional truth" of a novel such as "Out of my Mind" is very important.
I've revised the welcome page to explain the connections between what initially may seem like two different parts of this website: information on disabilities and information on early childhood education research. In my mind--it is all connected, because one interest led to another--my own neurological quirks led to an interest in how children learn--which in turn led to an interest in adapting early childhood education research for use by librarians in public libraries.
The content on this website mostly comes from my perspective as a youth services librarian with disabilities. The further I travel along life's road, the more entwined these two parts of my identity become. Librarian: I have an MLS from Rutgers University and have working in public libraries for nearly 20 years. The focus on my career has always been youth services. Disabled: I've been disabled more than twice as long as I've been a librarian. My experience started at birth when I was immediately diagnosed with cleft palate. Also present was a non-verbal learning disability (NLD) for short. This was not formally diagnosed until I was 19, leading to years of frustration. My Tourette Syndrome was not present at birth, but surely started young as I don't ever remember living without it. The Tourette was also not diagnosed until adulthood, further compounding my frustration. Coincidentally, I was also diagnosed with IBD (more commonly known as Chron's\Ulcerative Colitis) at the age of 19. That was another easy diagnosis--as with cleft palate, they look and they see it.