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Please direct any media or speaking requests to Gina McKenzie at gina@gempr.biz

     I am someone who has always loved stories. Whether it is a story a parent has told many times, a slightly disjointed or exaggerated story my child tells, or a story from a stranger, I find stories guide us to ourselves and one another. 

 

     Perhaps it is this love of story that led me to share Lukas’ story with you. The stories of those who have gone before me on this Down syndrome and autism path have buoyed me when I needed hope or humor, and they helped me when I needed sobering truth or guidance. After voraciously taking in all I could find, I realized it was my turn to join the conversation, and so I wrote this memoir -- Beside You.

 

     Why do we have such shame around our needs? When you have a child with special needs, you realize you have to change your perspective on this word. How do we let our children know their needs are not occasions for shame but rather an opportunity for community?  This memoir not only explores Lukas’ needs, but also how he illuminates my special needs…ones we all share, but often choose to dismiss or ignore. Join me for a glimpse into how our family has walked through the muck and mystery of life over these last ten years.