Simmonne lives in Melbourne, Australia, and is an educator at a tertiary institute. Teaching adult students the skills needed to work in the Disability sector is motivated by her desire to build a better community of understanding and support for people with disabilities, especially for her adult sons, who are challenged by life ‘on the spectrum’.
Most frequent questions and answers
My sons were trying to find a way to connect with and contact their grandfather who, having died, had disappeared from their daily lives. ‘Death’ was an almost impossible concept for them to understand. In one moment he was asleep in a hospital bed and in the next moment their ‘Poppy’ had gone and did not come back.
Being literal thinkers, my sons turned to technology to help them to find their grandfather. Yet, as I explained to them, aeroplanes and mobile phones have their limits. I wanted to help my sons through their grieving process by sharing my belief system with them, which I explain and have modified in my book. As this seemed to help my sons, I thought that it may also help others. So, our story became a book.
I hope that this story will give individuals of all ages and levels of understanding a tangible and visual strategy, for keeping their link alive between themselves and their loved ones – who have died and have physically disappeared.
I also hope that they will appreciate our family’s ongoing joke – about my father getting onto the Board of Management in Heaven, so he could set some things straight!!
The frequent, persistent and sometimes awkward timing of my sons’ phone calls, throughout each day, is another constant cause of comedy in our lives.
The simple, yet tangible and visual strategy in this book, for keeping connected to a loved one (through sending our thoughts out to them, being with them in our memories, in our imagination and in our dreams), is not just for young children. It can also be helpful for adolescents and adults who have intellectual difficulties.
The androgynous character of ‘Heaven’s Boss’ could be the ruling deity of any religion, which makes this book inclusive of many belief systems.
Rising to the challenges posed by daily ‘disability issues’ has been made possible by 3 factors in my life:
- the love and support of family and friends
- a religious belief system
- finding the funny side of everyday life!
These factors inspire my stories and are reflected in my writing.
This book is written for and is inclusive of varying levels of understanding, individual ways of learning, various age groups and is mindful and embracing of differing belief systems.