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Alum Writes Personalized Books To Help Special-Needs Students In creating a resource for her special-needs child, she extended the same support to others

 

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Heather McCarthy, right, an NLU alum, is starting with her friend and colleague Kate Ryan a company that makes personalized books for special-needs children. The books will help the children communicate their conditions to teachers and fellow students.

By Nicholas A. Love

Heather McCarthy ’08, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is partnering with her friend and colleague at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School to write personalized picture books for children with special needs.

It is not unusual for McCarthy, a language arts teacher, to turn to books when needing a solution. This hardcover problem solving began as a book she wrote to help her daughter communicate special needs with teachers and peers at school. That book soon multiplied into a collaboration between McCarthy and others to make books available to any school-age child with special needs, ranging from rare conditions, like the rare metabolic disorder her children have, to common conditions like food allergies.

These books empower children with a sense of importance and with the ability to easily share their story with peers and teachers.

“Our hope is that with these personalized books everyone will benefit– from the student, to the classmates, the teacher and the parents.”

You can read more about McCarthy and her personalized books at Patch.com and the Daily Southtown.