Featured Special Needs Books and Author Spot Light
Meet Claudia Broome author of the Rugby Jones series - special needs children's books and winner of several awards including Family Choice Award 2016.
"My name is Claudia Broome and I was lucky enough to become the “adopted mother” of Rugby Jones and other assorted four legged animals. I am the mother of four grown children and I have two bonus daughters and eight grandchildren.
While my children were growing up and today, I have become acutely aware of the fact that children who are different in some way are often ostracized and made to feel like they are not as good as the so called “perfect kids.” I decided that I was going to go on a mission to make a difference in how children acted and reacted to differences one child at a time. Little did I know that Rugby Jones would be the messenger who would teach me how to do exactly that. I wrote the first book using Rugby as the narrator. Everything in that book was true with the exception that I wrote the words for Rugby. I began speaking at schools and started the www.rugbyjones.com website and was amazed at how children related to him… and to me as I shared his story.
Who is Rugby? Rugby is my dog, my friend, my teacher and my hero. When I adopted Rugby Jones, he was a happy and exuberant rascal. He explored everywhere and got into everything. Then he had a freak accident and became paralyzed. It was a very sad time for both of us. As I watched Rugby experience life in a wheelchair, I noticed the reaction that everyone had to his antics. People, especially children were drawn to him and he had a profound effect on them."
"Why I wrote The Diary of a Different Dog - One day when I went to the pet supply store to get dog food, I took Rugby with me. I was focused on my errand and we were walking in that direction when I heard a child say, “Mommy look at that doggie in the wheelchair.” Then I heard a woman’s voice say, “Don’t go near him. There is something wrong with him. Let’s just go the other way. No. You can’t pet him. Something is wrong with him.” This was not the first time something like this happened.
It was almost like Rugby was telling himself what to do, “If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them.” At that moment, I felt Rugby pulling me down the aisle and around the corner to the next aisle where the children and their mother were. I saw the mother put her hands on her children’s shoulders and hold them. Rugby pulled me right over to them and then barked. It wasn’t a loud bark. It was more like a “woof.”
The little girl looked at her mother and asked her, “Mommy, can’t we pet him please?” I don’t know if the mother was embarrassed or just confused but she still held their shoulders and said nothing. “Mommy, can we?” I decided that I needed to put my two cents in so I said, “It is okay. They can pet him. They won’t catch anything.” She gave me a questioning look and I told her that I knew that she was concerned and that Rugby wouldn’t hurt her children in any way, quite the contrary.
She released her hold on the children as if to tell them that they could pet him. I explained that Rugby had been in an accident and that he needed the wheelchair because of his paralysis. As the children and Rugby interacted happily, she and I talked. When we were ready to say good bye, she told her children something that I will never forget. “Emily and Alex don’t ever be afraid of anyone who is in a wheelchair or different from you. Try to understand what they are going through and be kind because that is how you want to be treated.”
What a lesson those children learned on that day." - Claudia Broome
2016 Gold Winner of the Special Needs Book Awards: Children's Book - Ages 2-6 & 2016 Bronze Winner of the Special Needs Book Awards: Children's Book - Ages 7-11
Special Needs Stop is proud to introduce you to Benjamin K.M. Kellogg. We just know you are gonna love this guy, his accomplishments and his outlook on life. Take a moment to learn about this incredible individual sharing his light with others.
"Hello, my name is Benjamin K.M. Kellogg. I am twenty-four years old, and I hail from Mexico, NY. I am a freelance writer, and I have autism. I am also a 2012 graduate (Summa Cum Laude) of Cayuga Community College with an Associate in Arts in Humanities and Social Science degree with a Writing Concentration. I created the Noah and Logan children’s book series as a way to help other children with autism learn the social and life skills I struggled to master as a child. I would like other children to be able to apply these skills to their own lives and have an easier time learning them than I did when I was younger. It is my hope that they will find the Noah and Logan stories fun and helpful aids. In addition, I am working on a novel. In the past, my work has included writing poetry and an online column about my life as an autistic adult, among other works. I also maintain a blog at kellogthoughts.com where I share my many thoughts and interests. More information about me and the Noah and Logan series can be found on my web site: benjaminkmkellogg.com. I likewise have two Facebook pages: “Benjamin Kellogg, Author” and “Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series.” I welcome input from my readers on all of my sites."
"I believe faith has played a fundamental role in shaping my life. From the beginning, my parents have taught me that God is always watching over me; that He will stay with me and never abandon me. My family has always been regular Mass attendees and with this foundation along with my years of religious education, I have learned that God never gives up on us and that we must not give up on ourselves. This knowledge has helped me in my decision-making and how I view the world. I feel God has richly blessed me through the years and has set me on a path to share what I have learned and think with others through my writing. I have developed a positive attitude through God’s Word, my parents’ support, and what I have experienced in life. I thank God for my parents, family, friends, teachers, and therapists that have helped me through the years. Without my faith in God and the positive mindset He instilled in me, I think my life would have turned out much differently."
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