Special Needs Daycare Board Member Vies for a Spot on The Gittle List

Mother of Son with Chromosomal Abnormality Struggled to Find Daycare
SAN DIEGO - Nov. 18, 2014 - PRLog -- Karen Franco – better known as “Jacob’s Mom” – had no idea the roller coaster ride that would be her life when she decided to have a child. Being a new parent is never easy. But, Jacob was born with a disorder so rare that the doctors weren’t sure how it would impact his physical and developmental growth.

Karen explains, “Jacob has a chromosomal abnormality. He is missing a piece of his 4th chromosome which has led to cognitive and developmental delays. What's interesting is that when we had Jacob tested by a geneticist, she said that she had never seen this particular deletion before so no one really knew how Jacob would develop.”

Life with a special needs child is challenging. But, finding daycare for Jacob was nearly impossible. Karen says, “I had many doors closed in my face.  That was extremely frustrating. Luckily, I didn’t give up and I was introduced to a very special lady, Ginny Brydges, who opened her arms and her daycare center to Jacob. He was accepted and loved like any other child.” Ms. Brydges would go on to found the non-profit Every Child’s Place to provide daycare for special needs children. Karen has been a board member for 14 years.

Karen’s experience as a journalist and life with Jacob ultimately led her to write and self-publish Just Hold My Hand. She says, “I have many amazing stories to tell from living in ‘Jacob’s world’ and I am eager to share them with parents of children facing similar challenges.”

Karen found out about The Gittle List contest for self-published children’s picture book authors on LinkedIn. She decided to enter Just Hold My Hand. “This is the first book contest I have entered. The message about the contest was very inviting and welcoming for new authors.”

Aviva Gittle, owner of Aviva Gittle Publishing and host of the contest, says, “A children’s book can entertain a child, but can also help them – and their caregivers – deal with unique problems and situations. I’m looking forward to reading Just Hold My Hand.”

Karen hopes her book wins a spot on the Gittle List Top 10 for 2014. But, her son’s joy at having a book written about him has already been a great prize. Karen says, “Jacob loves the fact that there is a book about him. I've even taken him to different book signing events with me and he loves to sign his name as well. People actually request it.”

The Gittle List is an annual contest exclusively for self-published authors of children’s picture books and is open to authors around the world. Visit the Aviva Gittle Publishing website at http://gotogittle.com/ to see the 2014 submission guidelines and the 2013 Gittle List winners. There’s still time to enter: Deadline is November 30, 2014.

Aviva Gittle Publishing writes and publishes stories for children in English and Spanish. Aviva’s website, http://gotogittle.com/, shares the stories of authors, illustrators and others who create books and creative media for children.

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