I heard an inspirational speaker today. Dean Beadle delivered a charismatic, funny and impactful presentation at the 2011 SEN Conference. Retelling some of his childhood experiences in a primary school, pre-aspergers diagnosis, I found myself wishing that my eight year old could be there to hear him. Yes he had a great message for those working with children with special educational needs, but more, much more than this, he spoke of the importance of getting to know children as people, understanding their needs as children and having high expectations of them, personal mantras of my own. Too often we can unintentionally impose glass ceilings on children’s potential, making assumptions and second guessing their abilities. What Dean powerfully showed was that with determination and vision we can succeed in whatever we want to. And Dean should know, labelled ‘a monster’ at six years of age he recently retired from the circuit of after dinner speaking to pursue his other interests and talents of which journalism is just one. For anyone doubting their ability or wondering whether it’s worth persevering with a challenge, a motivational speech like that should leave them in no doubt. So it’s back to book writing for me, reenergised and inspired by the sights and sounds of the day and my eight year olds latest short novel, who makes writing seem childs play.

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