My name is Gemma Keir and I am a 32 year-old mother to three wonderful children – Logan, Caleb and Savannah-Rose, and wife to Max Keir. Logan, our eldest son has a condition called 22q Deletion, also known as DiGeorge Syndrome. He inspired me to start The abilities in me book series. We have spent our lives in and out of the hospital, clinics and sat for hours in school meetings. I have also found that information was given to parents, but not so much for the child. I also was questioning how one day, myself, would explain Logan’s differences to him. I sat in tears at many appointments, and in my own space, because you do get told a lot about the things your child is slowly progressing at, or the things they may not ever be able to do. But as a parent, we see so much more than that, we see all the small steps, achievements and things they can do. So that was a really important message I wanted to put across to my child. I want to remind him of the things he is capable of. His abilities. I also wanted to help answer some questions that his peers at school may ask. It is really important that we talk about differences in a positive light from a young age. I truly believe that judgement comes from lack of understanding and if we can educate our future generation in kindness, acceptance, inclusion and knowledge around disabilities – together we can make the world a brighter place.
In the 3 years, since I started The abilities, I have since published 17 books, and currently have a further two in production. I have worked with families across the world and their children to help bring their stories about the things they can do to life. Children worldwide, have shared pictures with us of themselves with their books, and have also expressed how much the book has helped them understand. Parents, teachers and even hospital staff have used our books as educational resources to promote inclusion. I have voluntarily put my heart into making these books and I will continue to write for children. I also want to ensure the foundation meets its purpose by helping to bring families together in support, and supporting mainstream schools with resources and equipment to provide better support for children with SEN.