Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Do They Appear?

Although I didn't plan it, all of the books I've had published seem to deal with Special Needs in some way.

In The Peril of the Sinister Scientist one of the main characters uses a wheelchair.  

Signs of Trouble is about kids with learning disabilities who get separated from their Special Ed class on a field trip.  

Secret Service Saint isn't specifically about  Special Needs, but the main character secretly helps someone who is sick.

Slime & All is about a giant, talking worm who wants to be accepted and lots of kids with physical, mental, or emotional limitations can identify with him.

And I have a story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I Can't Believe My Dog Did That, about a deaf dog who helps a child.

So, why do things like that keep appearing in my writing?

Well, when I was a kid I had severe, chronic asthma and was sent to a convalescent home where I met lots of kids with handicaps. (Yes, I know that term isn't politically correct now. Too bad.)

In high school I volunteered with the local Society for Crippled Children. Later I worked at California School for the Deaf so my husband and I raised several Deaf foster kids who had various special needs. I worked as an aide in a Special Education class, then became a substitute teacher and worked in lots of other Special Ed classes.

I guess all that experience somehow got into my subconscious. Those "Special" people have been part of my life for so long they pop up in my mind when I'm writing. They aren't unusual to me.

I wish everyone would feel that way and treat them as they do everyone else.


Penelope Cole said...

Hi Jan, I'm with you. When I was writing "Magical Matthew," I put a girl in a wheelchair for three reasons: I wanted Matthew to have something he couldn't fix. I wanted to show that special needs kids are just kids with visible disabilities. And lastly, my nephew is disabled, and he's still the same person that we all love. Life is just harder for him. So now in the whole series Lily is there in her wheelchair. When I substitute, I've asked for Special Needs classes, because I want to help however I can. And I think that most of us have handicaps and disabilities, just some are more visible than others. Life is hard and we do the best we can.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Penelope. I agree.

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