I Better Brush Up on My Speaking Skills...

This fall I have been invited to speak to several different groups about Apert syndrome, Aiden's story and the importance of Choosing Kind. If you haven't seen already, my friend - and apertOWL partner - Kerry Lynch has been spreading the awareness throughout Chicago-area elementary schools by speaking to kids about her daughter Mary Cate who also has Apert syndrome like Aiden. Her story made the front page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune {see: Chicago family asks Chicago students to "Choose Kind"} and she was interviewed by the Australian Today Show!

Not only will I be addressing elementary students in grades K-8, I will also be sharing our story with students in the nursing and education programs at my alma mater, Bellarmine University, and with over 150 families in an adult formation group at my local parish. I am extremely excited about these opportunities.

For starters, being able to present to nursing students allows me to give them information about a rare craniofacial condition that many of them may never encounter throughout their entire nursing career (it only occurs approximately 1 out of 160,000 births). But if they should ever care for an individual with Apert syndrome, perhaps they will remember my presentation and recognize it right off the bat. With that being said, Apert syndrome is not the only rare condition they might come across, so hearing my perspective might be beneficial for them across the board.

Secondly, presenting to education students might spark ideas for them when they are one day in their own classrooms. With bullying so prevalent today, it will be a good reminder on the importance of "Choosing Kind" and how to foster an environment of acceptance among their students.

Next, I am really looking forward to engaging with the adult formation program at my church. Children have an innocent curiosity that can sometimes make for awkward situations. I've been asked by various adults how to go about handling these situations in an appropriate manner. They want to know what I would like to happen. I hope to provide insight into the kinds of things we have dealt with - both good and bad - so they can be more prepared if they or their child should want to know about another's disability in public.

Finally, I cannot wait to bring Aiden to schools and show them first hand that although he is "different", he is more like them than they think. He's just a normal kid with normal feelings. People with differences want to be accepted for who they are and NOT what they look like. Using the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio as a platform, I hope to convey the message: "When given the choice between being right or being kind, CHOOSE KIND!"

If you know a teacher/professor, church leader, group director, etc.
interested in having me come share our story, I'd love to chat with you!
I truly believe that education is key!

Email me at moreskeesplease [at] gmail [dot] com.

In the meantime, I'm going to take a Toastmasters class or two (my dad has been telling me to do this for YEARS) and hope that my passion for sharing about Aiden brings my nerves down a notch when I'm standing there, knees knocking, getting ready to present.

1 comment :

  1. Eden At Evergreen Eden6:40 PM, July 27, 2014

    WOW Congratulations Taryn!!! You are an incredible mom and a wonderful person for all your hard work, helping to enlighten others and make the world a better, more understanding place. You and Aiden deserve to have your story and perspectives heard on such a grand scale. God bless you both! ...And may He send you an extra strong dose of His peaceful spirit when you're standing up there in front of all those people!! ;) xoxo