I was a member of KAC when I lived in Lawrence, KS a few years ago. We moved to Cape Coral, Fl about 2 1/2 years ago, after living in Lawrence for 22 years. I have searched for a writer's group in Florida, but never joined because I didn't feel it was right for me. I wrote and self-published 3 books which are on Amazon. (mistakes and all). My reason for writing those books was that I wanted others, especially family and friends, to know what it is like to raise a child who has Down Syndrome. (Our youngest child Lisa, now 42, has Down syndrome.) In three years, I had all three of those books written and published. I used a mix of humor and honesty in my writing, to show that there can be a positive end in sight when raising a child with Down syndrome. The books offer positive answers and I relay true stories about Lisa and our family that hopefully will help others. When raising children, we parents all share similar situations but we do not all share the same opportunities when help is needed.
About 2 1/2 years ago, I started writing about people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities who have experienced loss and grief in their life. A lot of research and tenacity gave me the boost I needed to write about this difficult subject. I conducted a survey which helped tremendously and now I am in the process of fine-tuning the information. I have one publishing company that will be my first try at getting it published because I don't want to self-publish. I look forward to having seasoned writers help with any questions I might have.
As far as my work history, after having four children, I pursued a nursing degree and worked in a K-12 school system that offered special education classes for those with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. It was a very rewarding career, but being retired is great, too!
While I was still in the nursing profession, I also wrote a monthly newspaper column for a local newspaper. Some articles highlighted experiences in raising a child with Down syndrome. Other articles were about different organizations that helped those with disabilities in many different settings. I received the 1993 Outstanding Feature Writing Award for one article entitled "People find Hope and Help at the Victory House." The award mentioned that "she continually strives to educate and promote disability awareness issues, advocating that each and every individual can learn a vocational skill, secure meaningful employment, develop interpersonal relationships and most importantly, to live successfully and independently."
For more information, Visit Angee Barcus' facebook page.