Contact details

As well as being a freelance writer I am also a qualified counsellor and I work for a low cost counselling service in Exeter and for the NHS Gender Clinic also in Exeter.

Simultaneously, I work as a Disability Member of the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber sitting on disability benefit tribunals on an ad hoc basis.

As a writer I specialise in writing about disability and health.

My articles have been published in the Guardian, Times, OUCH! [BBC disability website], Disability Now, Broadcast, Lifestyle [Motability magazine], The Practising Midwife, 'Junior, Pregnancy & Baby', Writers' News, Able, Getting There [Transport for London magazine], Junior, Community Care, DPPi [Disability, Pregnancy & Parenthood International]. I have also had articles commissioned by Daily Mail.

For more information about me and for examples of my writing please see below.

If you would like me to write an article for your publication, about any aspect of disability, please do get in touch:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Googling yourself

Every now and then I just can't help myself and I end up putting my name into google just to see what happens.

Today I found I'd been quoted in a Broadcast article about 'How Diverse is British TV?' [] after having written an article for the Broadcast website about how hard it is to work in TV when you are a disabled person - I knew they'd like my 'trying to make an impression at belly button level' comment....

But I do have to say the Emma Bowler quote on the Marmite website is not me, I would never say "Go Marmite" unless I was saying for it to go into the bin, can't stand the stuff.

Neither am I the Emma Bowler The Wildlife Artist, but I find it quite interesting to find out what my namesakes do.

Sometimes I wonder how I have so much time on my hands with 2 young children to look after....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

When does honesty become the best policy?

I had a twinge of sadness today as Archie [my 3 year old who has the same disability as me] was saying "when I’m bigger", "when I’m taller like daddy I’ll do more climbing."

I don't know how tall he will end up but the expected height range for Kniest is: 100 - 140 cm.

I know that I didn’t really clock my size difference til I was remarkably old, I’m sure I must have noticed [I’m not stupid] but perhaps I chose to block it out?

It's hard now hearing Archie’s aspirations, however small or transcient they may be. I know it's just something he was saying and he won't remember it tomorrow but it's still hard.

With me I remember there was one thing I really wanted to do when I was younger and that was to be able to kneel down and then sit back on my feet, for the simple reason that it looked really comfy and everyone else could do it.

I even told a physio about it. She said oh if you do this exercise and that one you’ll be able to do it. It was utter rubbish, as I would never have had the flexibility. Perhaps she was being nice but ultimately I felt very bitter that I couldn’t, in spite of doing the exercises, achieve this position.

At what point does honesty become the best policy?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ben at 15 months old - starts walking

OK he's not the youngest ever baby to start walking but seeing has we had to wait 2 and 1/2 years for Archie [who has the same disability as me, whereas Ben doesn't] to start walking it is pretty amazing to us.

Also the difference with Archie was that he actually started cruising when he was about 1 but just hung on to furniture for ages, then started pushing his trolley toy along and just wouldn't quite let go until he was absolutely stable. My guess was it was a protective mechanism because falling over would probably hurt him more than a non disabled child.

The weird thing with Ben is that all you have to do is get him up onto his feet, walk with him that first step, then when you let go he just keeps on walking!

I know it's probably all 'normal' for everyone with 'normal' children but it's all new for us! And it's another sign of how different our two children are because one has a disability and the other doesn't.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Broken leg update....

4 weeks ago I posted about my disabled 3 year old's broken leg, happy to say he is now walking better than ever and is very very pleased with himself about the whole thing too. It is so wonderful to see.

It's hard to convey how stressful this whole episode was; it felt like he'd virtually only just started walking, then all of a sudden he couldn't and it was no mean feat for me to have to be carrying him as he's nearly a 1/3 of my weight now, then there was the anxious wait to see if it would all heal OK, followed by more waiting to see if he would get back to where he was.

Fortunately this episode has a happy ending and I really hope it is a one off. Have booked him an appointment with his consultant in May to amongst other things see if is is more likely to happen again for him than a 'normal' child or if he was just plain unlucky.

No one tells you how stressful being a parent is.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Disabled models

Had another blog published on the Broadcast website yesterday:

This one was in response to the new BBC3 mission to find a disabled fashion model. It's not actually an original idea in that disabled models do already exist; some even get jobs beyond modelling unfashionable plastic rainproof capes, colostomy bags, mobility gadgets and stairlifts but they are not exactly the norm.

The one thing this series could do is generate publicity and through that raise the question of why disabled models are not used more often in the mainstream fashion arena and in advertising generally?