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Author Blogs

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Groundbreaking: Cody Sullivan

Don’t you love when someone does something phenomenal, or groundbreaking? Sometimes they’re pioneers, because they’re the first to do it. Young Cody Sullivan is a pioneer because he is the first person with Down Syndrome to graduate from college? Imagine how proud he and his family must be. Cody has recently graduated from Concordia College in Oregon.  Here’s what Cody’s friend Matt said, “It’s something that’s so normal for us. We see him every day. We don’t see him any different. So it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s graduating; he’s done his four years here; he’s got his degree.” Are you wondering how Cody did it? No doubt he worked very hard to reach is goal. ” Sullivan received a certificate of ...
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Dreams: the story of John Cronin and his dad, Mark

We all have dreams. John Cronin graduated from high school in 2016 wondering what to do next. John has Down Syndrome, but he was searching for an idea that would break stereotypes. John loved crazy, cute, unique, socks. One day, John told  his dad, Mark, I want to start a business with you. They decided to start a business called John’s Crazy Socks to spread happiness. Furthermore, their business would employ only people with disabilities. John and Mark wanted to “Make people with disabilities our reason for success.” One thing John’s Dad didn’t want was to be subsidized. He didn’t want to be dependent on the government. Guess what happened next? People loved John’s crazy socks. In fact, the...
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Baseball: Luke Terry beat the odds

Do you love stories where the underdog beats the odds, or where someone overcomes a disability and astounds everyone? I do. They’re my favorite stories. Have you heard about Luke Terry? He’s a fifteen-year-old baseball player from Tennessee. Luke crouches behind home plate, ready to catch the next pitch. He’s so skillful and adept at his job, you hardly notice he only has one arm. When Luke was a baby, he contracted the e-coli bacteria. At first, doctors hoped they could save his arm, but the infection traveled quickly. Little Luke endured several long surgeries. In fact, it’s a miracle he survived because his heart stopped several times during the operations. Excerpts from a newspaper artic...
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Equine therapy: Check out this blog

Some of you may know about equine therapy. Horseback riding is beneficial for people with various ailments including cerebral palsy, autism, and many others. Sometimes the motion of the horse under a child can help core strength,as well as muscle strength. I know from personal experience the healing powers of horses are amazing. One fairly new way to help people with disabilities is to use miniature horses. Who wouldn’t love a cute, cuddly little horse. Wouldn’t a visit with one lift your spirits? Here are some excerpts from a blog article: Equine Therapy is a highly effective therapeutic tool used at The Meadows in our addiction and trauma treatment program. As part of our innovative and ho...
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Therapeutic riding: Lis Hartel

Some of you may be familiar with therapeutic  horseback riding. It helps people in many ways-physically, emotionally and socially. Riding empowers people and lifts their spirits. Even Prime Minister Winston Churchill said “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”  Children with disabilities such as, cerebral palsy, autism, and even blindness, love the special connection they feel with their horse. Who was the first person with a disability to be empowered by horses?  The answer is Lis Hartel. She was a  Danish equestrian who won medals in the Olympics in 1943 and 1944, even though she suffered from polio. In fact, she rode against the advice of h...
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Horseback riding: A dream come true

Some of you may know that the day my dad heard the doctor say, “Your daughter will never be able to walk, my life changed forever. My Dad wouldn’t accept that as fact. Instead, he said he’d teach me to ride horses and everything would be fine. Horseback riding can change lives. Check out this story and see what happened when a man changed his life in order to impact children will disabilities.  It was a dream come true for him and the children he introduced to horses. Please follow this link and check out this amazing true story. https://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/us/cnnheroes-harry-swimmer-mitey-riders-horse/index.html   The post Horseback riding: A dream come true appeared first on deaniehumph...
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Heroes: Preston Sharp

I’ve always thought heroes should be honored and respected. In fact,  eleven -year-old Preston Sharp feels the same way. One day, he went to visit his grandpa’s grave and he was stunned that many of the soldiers’ graves didn’t have flags decorating them. His mom said she’d never seen him “So angry and passionate about anything.” In fact, Preston remained upset over that for hours until finally his mom said, “‘Son, if you’re going to complain about something, you have to do something about it or let it go.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’m going to do something about it, Mom.” Immediately, Preston said, “I’m going to do something about it, Mom.” How did Preston solve the problem? He took odd jobs to...
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Dreams: Andrew Kurka

Andrew Kurka has always had big dreams, but sometimes you need to adjust them because of circumstances you don’t expect.  When Andrew was eight years-old he wanted to be a champion wrestler. He’s already won a state championship, but his coach had some wise advice, “Remember, there will always be someone better.”  That day Andrew knew something important.” I wanted to be the best. That’s where my Olympic dream grew. Once you win that gold medal on the Olympic stage, you are the best. From then  on,  every moment was a dedic ation to bettering myself, and  my Olympic wrestling dream grew with great successes and many failures.” But, just when Andrew was working toward his goals, something hap...
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Special Needs: Lucas, the Gerber Baby

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a child with special needs? Lucas Warren’s parents worried that he would be bullied because he has Down Syndrome. One day, “on a whim,” his mom decided to enter Lucas’ picture in the Gerber Baby contest. Guess what happened? Lucas won! His parents hope  it will “Shine a light on special needs children. He gets to spread so much joy and love to everybody.” When Lucas’ Mom, Courtney, was asked what makes her baby so special, she said “He smiles all the time. He’s always happy.’ Lucas’ Dad, Jason, shared this statement during a recent interview: “We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special nee...
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Perseverance: John Henry Krueger

If you’ve been watching the Olympics in South Korea, you may know American short track speed skater, John Henry Krueger, won a silver medal in short track speed skating. During the event, several competitors fell, but John-Henry managed to avoid any of the people who crashed. When he was declared the silver medalist, he was completely stunned.  What a huge accomplishment for a young man, who is only eighteen years-old.He’d shown a great deal of perseverance during his thirteen years of training for that moment. John-Henry’s Mom coached figure skaters, so when he was just five-years-old, she brought him to the skating rink, hoping he’d be interested in becoming a figure skater.  But John-Henr...
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Passion: Why should you develop it?

When I was a little girl, my passion was horses and riding. Fortunately, I grew up at a beautiful riding school called Sweetbrier. For me, it was a place where dreams come true. It was magical. In my case, when I wasn’t walking at nearly four-years-old, my dad took me to a specialist. Everything changed when the doctor announced I’d never walk. I still remember my dad strongly voicing his disapproval. (He told the doctor where he could go with that opinion) With that, Daddy scooped me up and stormed out of the office. What happened next?  Daddy said the doctor was flat-out wrong. Daddy decided instantly to change the course of my life. He said, “I’m going to teach you to ride and you’ll be f...
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New beginnings: amazing

What if your little brother had Down Syndrome and only knew “about twelve words?” Would you feel there was no way you could improve his vocabulary? Apparently, Lydia Gray had another idea of how she could help her little brother, Bo, who is twenty-five months old. What dis she do? She sang “You Are My Sunshine” to him. What happened next is the most amazing part. Lydia remembered every word her baby brother knows came from a song.  After just a few minutes of playing the the song, Bo learned “happy,” “gray,” “dear” and “away.”  Lydia made a video singing and playing her guitar to Bo. Be sure to check it out here: Share if you like. It’s downright adorable. You’ll see that every day is an opp...
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Family: Anthony Berry

Have you ever wondered what it would be like not to have a family? Suppose you grew up in foster care and never missed having a family until you met someone special.   Anthony  has been in foster care since he was nine-years-old. Now he’s sixteen and well aware most children are not adopted when they are teenagers. But things changed for Anthony when he met is English teacher, Bennie Berry.  She described him as a “model student.” Anthony felt such a bond with Bennie that he asked her to adopt him after he’d been in her class for only two months. Did Bennie say yes? Not exactly, but she did say if Anthony completed “A certain assignment, she’d consider it.” After Anthony finished his assignm...
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children’s books: horses and helping others

As you may know I love writing children’s books. Each book focuses on good character like kindness, friendship, sharing, or helping others. My goal is to show children to follow their dreams. I did and the best part was beating the odds. Whether you love children’s books, horses, or something else, it’s wonderful to have a caring nature. If you love uplifting real-life stories featuring children, you’ll enjoy meeting  Andrea Ramirez. She earned the Student  of the Week honor at The John Hancock Magnet School in Utah. What makes Andrea stand out? She loves helping others. For example, when Andrea learned a student in her school would lose her hair after cancer treatments, Andrea instantly dec...
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Pony: How to polish him

When you were little did you dream of owning a pony?  I loved ponies, but luckily for me, I grew up at a riding school in Connecticut. Thinking of my first pony makes me smile. His name was Little Man. He was brown and fuzzy, but quite naughty. Little Man was a calm, lazy fellow. On the bright side, I never had to worry that he’d get excited and gallop away. He did have one odd habit though. He liked to sleep when I was riding him. He’d lie down with me on his back. But finally, I learned to watch out when he started walking slower and slower. Then I’d give him a kick to make him keep walking; problem solved. Let’s say you want to groom your pony. What would you do? First, you’d use a curry ...
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High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center: Meet Amazing Melissa

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on an incredible riding center called High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Are you familiar with therapeutic riding? Did you know riding helps children and adults with numerous disabilities such as; autism, cerebral palsy, and even blindness. I’d like to introduce you to a young lady who rode at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center for many years. She’s totally blind. Isn’t that incredible? I watched the video about Melissa’s experiences at High Hopes Farm. Her beautiful position, and skills will amaze you. In the video, Melissa explains she began riding at “About four-years-old.” She states riding appealed most to her because of the”Fr...
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Therapy horses: Healing powers


Deanie and Do All picture from “My Life at Sweetbrier” You may have heard about therapy dogs, but what about therapy horses?   Do you know what their job is? They help children to have fun and experience the thrills of riding.  Not only that, but riding horses improves their motor skills and muscle strength. Today I read about a brother and sister who ride at an equine therapy center. Their parents remarked about how much riding has helped their children. In fact, their son is in a wheelchair, but he loves riding horses. It has built his confidence and self-esteem while he’s having fun relating to his horse. If you have a child with a disability, it’s a great idea to support a therapeutic ri...
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kid’s books: pioneer

What would you do if you were the first ever to do something? Would you feel like a pioneer? Maybe Mikayla Holmgren feels that way because she’s the first young lady to have Down’s syndrome and compete for Miss America. Isn’t that remarkable? Perhaps Mikayla will write good kid’s books to explain her experience. Mikayla won two awards during the pageant. One was The Spirit of the USA award, while the other is the Director’s Award. She received a standing ovation when her name was announced. What does Mikayla think? “”I’m just really excited, it’s out in the world and people are going to know about this,” Holmgren said in April. “I want to do this, on my own and I’m really, really proud of my...
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Kid’s books: bullies

These days bullying is all too common in schools.  Little eight-year-old Sophia Spencer knows about bullying because she loves bugs. Sophia likes walking around school with one of her bug friends on her shoulder. But her classmates didn’t understand the attraction to bugs. If I knew Sophia, I’d have suggested some kid’s books dealing with bullying, such as my book, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. “The youngster had been teased for how much she loved bugs.” When she played with grasshoppers, the other second graders at her elementary school called her “weird.” Sophia’s Mom, Nicole, became concerned about the bullying at school. What could she do to help? Nicole  sent a letter  to the E...
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children’s books: Interview with author, Melissa Johns- part 3


  Hi everyone, today we have the pleasure of welcoming back authors of several children’s books, Melissa-Sue John and her daughters, Olivia and Alyssa. “Do you think you’d like to be an author when you grow up? Alyssa: I want to be an author. My mom thinks I am very artistic, so who knows? I’m so pleased to hear you’re using your talents, Alyssa and Olivia. I helped my dad in our business too. Melissa-Sue, do you have any projects you’re working on right now? Right now, I am helping other children authors get their books published. But I have a list of STEAM topics I want to complete in the future. It’s exciting you’re helping other children who are authors to develop their talents. It’s gre...
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