Hi, I'm Lucy. I spent 15 happy years as a Teacher and SENCO, before moving on to become a Specialist Advisory Teacher for Speech, Language, Communication and Autism needs.
I’m passionate about neuro-diversity and inclusivity, as well as raising awareness and supporting the wellbeing of children with additional needs.
This is particularly close to my heart as my eldest daughter is autistic. I started writing stories when I couldn’t find any books to support her or my SEN pupils.
And then, our newest addition, Pippa the Cavapoo, became my husband’s 'school dog', which she and the children both LOVE.
In my job, I’m often asked to recommend resources to support children with an aspect of their needs or to raise awareness. I'd spend hours of my free time researching texts that could help my pupils to experience that feeling of ‘coming home’ when you meet relatable characters that really resonate. There were some wonderful stories, but I found that many of my pupils needed a more subtle approach to help them understand their amazing strengths and challenges in daily life.
When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I wrote my own 'gently relatable', inclusive stories with diverse characters. Animal characters are a great way to support open discussions and so I wrote my stories with a dog ( called Pippa, then Theo and now Dexter) as the main protagonist.
With the help of inclusive publisher Owlet Press, we've found a great illustrator, Sian Bowman, to help us create a series of 3 inclusive picture books that introduce readers to Dexter on his first day at school, on the school trip and at the school play. All of these scenarios can affect children in different ways, but Dexter has a way of naturally helping all the diverse children he meets.
We have a £20,000 target, which feels BIG, but there is a LOT to cover when publishing a series of 3 books, and EVERY pledge helps us get closer and even if partially reaching our target gets us our first book, it will make a huge difference - our funding will be spent as shown here:
If we only raise a proportion of our funding budget, then we will provide book pledgers with either the first book of the series, or the first and second, depending on how much we raise. For example, if you pledge to receive all 3 books, and we only raise enough funds for 1 book, we will offer you either 3 copies of the first book, or supplement your pledge with two other inclusive children's books from Owlet Press. But we ARE hoping to reach our target and aiming for the full series to be completed by Spring 2023, as it take around 3 months to illustrate each book!
Every time I’ve shared the stories with pupils and schools, they've inspired such positive feedback (very often pupils comment, ‘That’s just like me!’).
With your help, I hope to realise my dream in publishing my stories so that they can help SEN children, their families and schools in a wider capacity, raise awareness in neuro-diversity, make a positive difference at home and in the classroom and be a source of pure joy.