Q: First tell us something about yourself.
Hello, my name is Shelbi. I am very passionate about raising awareness and understanding of invisible disabilities – as I am an adult with Dyslexia and Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). I am a RADLD Ambassador. Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a significant difficulty learning, understanding and using spoken language – 1 in 14.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
I have always struggled with writing and getting my ideas down on paper. However after I was diagnosed with DLD in 2020. It inspired me to write a poem to explain what DLD is, what it is like for me and raise awareness of DLD as not many people know what it is. This led me to write more poems – now two of them have been adapted into children’s illustrated books.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote the DLD Why Can’t You See Me? Poem in 2021 and I posted it first on my social media page @dldwhycantyouseeme. It received very positive feedback. I found the incredible bear with us production team – who made it possible for me to become a self published author. They supported me throughout the whole process of making my ideas come to life through the very colorful and beautiful designs by the talented illustrators. DLD Why Can’t You See Me? – was my first children illustrated book published in 2022.I’m just like Nora May! – has just recently been published this year! Both are available on Amazon – Kindle and Paperback copies.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
DLD Why Can’t You See Me? – aims to raise awareness, understanding and empathy for the daily challenges of DLD. The book includes a “Further Information and Support Page” for more information about DLD, charities, organizations, and resources. I’m just like Nora May – aims to raise awareness of the daily challenges living with poor memory (short term memory, long term memory, and working memory). Learning how Nora May overcomes her challenges by using “Nora May Top Tips”. Both books aim to inspire those with these difficulties to know that despite these challenges we are still capable of achieving! “I am more than a label; I AM MORE THAN CAPABLE AND ABLE!” Copyrighted DLD Why Can’t You See Me? Book
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
The DLD Why Can’t You See Me? – was written from my own personal perspective and lived experience. I wanted to keep the original writing of the poem the same in the book. I’m just like Nora May! – was also written from my own personal experience however I wanted to adapt this into a story through Nora May the forgetful elephant – elephants are normally known for their good memory.
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
Thank you for everyone’s support! Please continue to raise awareness of all the invisible disabilities! It’s so important for these disabilities to be seen, heard and understood so they can receive the right support and funding! The next DLD Awareness Day is Friday 20th October 2023 – go to https://radld.org/ to get involved!