Episode 55 Bringing Up Beth with Henny Beaumont

From the outside, it’s hard to see what a family goes through when raising a child with a disability. In her heart wrenching graphic novel “Hole in the Heart”, Henny Beaumont takes us on a journey of her surprise, despair, concern and humour as she learns to trust her own feelings and love her daughter with Down’s Syndrome. This story doesn’t shy away from the complicated emotions and situations of raising a child with Down’s Syndrome, and this will be discussed in this riveting episode.

Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • Can you tell us what inspired you to write this graphic novel?
  • When you were pregnant with Beth, was there any indication that she would have a disability?
  • When she was first born, it seems that the diagnosis of her Down’s syndrome took a while.  What was going on for you at this time?
  • What was your initial reaction to the diagnosis?
  • How did your husband react?
  • How did your two older children react?
  • Beth had heart surgery when she was still a baby.  Can you tell us about this?
  • How did you feel when you told people about her Down’s syndrome?
  • What were some people’s reactions?
  • Where you able to reach out to other people who were in the same situation?
  • When do you feel those initial feelings about Beth started to lift?
  • When you were pregnant with your son, were you worried about Down’s syndrome?
  • When Beth went to school, how was she accommodated?
  • When she went to secondary school, you had some debate about sending her to a special school, can you explain why? Why did you make the decision you did?
  • How does she relate to your other children?
  • Have you had moments where you are worried about her because she is different?
  • Has she struggled to make friends?
  • In the novel, you had a soap box moment about what people with Down’s syndrome are called, can you explain your feelings about this?
  • Do you feel that there are some things that can change to help people learn more about Down’s syndrome?
  • What advice would you give to other parents who are in the same situation?
  • How is Beth doing now?
  • How can people find your book?