Author Dave Carl was born with spina bifida. He graduated from Buffalo State College in 1999 with a degree in social work. He uses a wheelchair full time but doesn’t let his disability define him. Through his work, speaking engagements, and seminars, Dave teaches people with and without disabilities of all ages independent living on all levels. Dave believes it is important to understand that independent living starts at a young age when a child is learning basic social and daily living skills. Dave uses his children’s book, Super Cyclist, as a fun way to teach both children and adults to believe in themselves and be all that they can be. Today on the blog, Dave describes how this story came to life.
Writing is a big part of my life. Even before deciding to write a book, I used writing to cope with stress of medical issues or school. The good thing about this was I could write anything I wanted and at my own pace. I started by occasionally writing a sentence or paragraph. Eventually, things I wrote were more descriptive describing one or two of my days.
After college writing became an even bigger part of my life. Instead of writing about my own issues when I was sick, I decided to have fun and write a children’s book. This also gave me a goal which I feel is important to have. Not only did having a goal distract me from the constant medical problems I was going through, but it gave me a sense of purpose.
I decided to make sure the book had messages for children.
The messages in the book aren’t what I see others go through or what I learned in college, but rather, what I have personally lived through and overcome. In the book, I try to teach children how to see the positive in themselves. Just because someone says you can’t do something doesn’t mean it’s true. I also try to teach that even with setbacks, we can still set goals and accomplish things.
Writing a children’s book was a very big accomplishment for me. Even though it’s a short picture book, it took a while to write. With all of my obstacles including health and work, it was easy to get distracted. Now I use the book to remind myself that when things aren’t going well, I can achieve a lot. I just need to be patient and believe in myself.
Super Cyclist is the story of John, a determined kid in a wheelchair who wants to catch criminals when he grows up. But others discourage him because he has a disability. He decides to follow his heart. John learns to develop the gifts and qualities he does have and becomes a super crime fighter. Super Cyclist is a story that every young child will enjoy.
Guest author: Dave Carl, author, motivational speaker, and social worker (pictured above)