Children’s book highlights disabilities in other countries


Most books written for children do not include children who have disabilities. But one author has changed that with her new book.

Annetrista Absalom is a student in Sheridan’s Education Support program and is the author of We are more alike than we are different. She said she wrote the book based on a trip she took to Sri Lanka.


“It’s about a child who is blind, deaf and can’t speak. She’s 9 years old and it’s teaching children that even with a disability, you can just be a regular child like everybody else.” Abalsom said in an interview conducted in Trafalgar’s C Wing.

“It’s teaching about her day to day schedule. She lives in an orphanage, so she wakes up in bed and gets help from her sisters and brothers to brush her teeth and to feed her. But she can do regular things like if you give her a bottle she can drink it by herself, if you give her a cookie she eats it by herself. She can draw, she can play on the swing, she can do everything just like any child can do.”

She explained that writing her story was difficult.

“I guess the storyline was the most difficult part. I had my idea of I knew that I want to write about her, but I didn’t know how to begin like what to say about her in the start, like should I mention her quickly that she is a disabled child or in the end and surprise the kids like ‘Oh this child has a disability.’ So it took me at least three weeks to finish my story, because I kept changing it everyday.”

Absalom said she plans on writing more books about the main character of her story “Rosie” and that a six-year-old girl she met who is deaf, blind and can’t speak kick started the idea.

“My inspiration for why I wrote this book was because in Sri Lanka I met a little girl who’s blind, deaf and can’t speak. I just changed her name and everything in the book because I didn’t want to include her real name.”

The book is coming out this month on both Amazon and Kindle. The people who helped her put her book together are Sherry Cayea, who is the illustrator and Debra Ruth, who helped her get the book published.

She also gave some advice for people who want to write a book similar to the one she wrote and mentioned what she plans to do with the money she gets from her book sales.

“If I had to tell someone to write a book, I would say follow your heart. Do it from your heart. What’s your reason for wanting to write a book and what would you do after writing a book? When I’m done with my book, my proceeds are going to go to building wheelchair swings in Georgetown.”

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