Calera author shares special story with every Oklahoma school district
SILO, Okla. (KTEN) — Reece Williams is a fun-loving, goofy, stubborn toddler like any other kid his age. But his older sister Rebecca says there's one thing about him that he doesn't even realize makes him special.
"My baby brother came with Down syndrome, and that makes him really, really special," she said.
Reece may not know it, but he is the inspiration behind his mother's new book called Richard's Friends.
"All the books that I ever read highlight children as having a specific disability," explained Riley Williams. "I didn't want to do that. I wanted to show that these children are just children... they want everything that we want."
Riley Williams published her book with a special goal in mind. Once the book was complete, she and her family donated a copy to every school district in the State of Oklahoma.
"Through our donation, we're hoping to challenge other organizations to really spread this word far and wide," Williams said.
Silo Public Schools Superintendent Kate McDonald endorses that approach.
"Catch them at a young age so they'll just understand, these are just my friends... there's not a label on anyone," she said.
Williams didn't want the story of Richard's Friends to be about children having disabilities; it's about their lives, and the love they have for those around them.
"It is inclusive to everybody. It never says this person has a disability... it just has his friends, and how they play, and all the different things that they do and how they go about their day just being kids and enjoying life," McDonald said.
The book shows children with different abilities playing games, camping, exercising... because that's what kids do.
But Williams' book hit home for more than just the kids reading it.
"I think it's good for other kids to know how everybody can have all of those special abilities," said Rebecca Williams, who has now taken up some writing of her own in hopes of inspiring others... just like her mom did.
"How my mom inspired me so much, I thought I could one day publish a book like she did," Rebecca said.