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Launch of a Mother’s Story of Raising Her Child with Disabilities Starts the Conversation with Education Minister Reid
“Raising Nathan: Every Life has a Story” –

Kingston, May 12, 2016: Minister of Education Honourable Ruel Reid has said he will “start the conversation” with education stakeholders about making Jamaica’s educational system inclusive for children with disabilities.
Minister Reid delivered his remarks at the Saturday, May 7 book launch of Raising Nathan: Every Life has a Story by Christine Staple-Ebanks, which chronicles the very personal story of raising Nathan, her 4th child who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 9-months. Nathan who was given little or no chance of surviving childhood is now 12 and was fully present along with his older brother and sisters at Saturday’s book launch.
“God made them special,” Minister Reid said as he congratulated author Christine Staple-Ebanks for writing her inspirational book. He pledged to continue the conversation with her and the community of persons with disabilities to make our education more inclusive for children with special needs.
Excerpts from the book Raising Nathan were read by supporting friends and colleagues who have been part of the Ebanks family’s journey to raise Nathan. Raising Nathan is self-published and is Mrs Staples-Ebanks’ first book. She hopes her book will provide insight and guidance to parents, educators, medical practitioners and policymakers on children with disabilities and the importance of their inclusion.
Mrs. Christine Hendricks, Executive Director of Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities congratulated Mrs Staple-Ebanks for writing the book and for her passionate advocacy, which she brings to the sector. Mrs Staple Ebanks who is a former member of the National Disability Advisory Board, founded the Nathan Ebanks Foundation (NEF) in 2007 to bring awareness to and promote the inclusion, empowerment and participation of children with disabilities in our society.
“This journey showed me how to see my son and myself differently. I gained a different perspective on life and unlocked my potential that I didn’t even know was there! He has deepened my capacity for love, strengthened my faith and belief in the infallible wisdom of God “ she said.
Robert and Christine also cofounded the Nathan Ebanks Children Advocacy Group, a registered US non-profit. Mrs. Staple-Ebanks was named a 2016 St Andrew High School Trailblazer by her alma mater for her pioneering advocacy for children with disabilities.

christine at book launch

The Conversation on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Education: Hon Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, listens intently to self-published author Christine Staple-Ebanks.

A Mother’s Story Advocates for Inclusive Parenting, Education and Development for Children with Disabilities
“Raising Nathan: Every Life has a Story”

The diagnosis of cerebral palsy for Robert and Christine Staple-Ebanks 4th child was devastating. Nathan, just 9-months old, would never be “normal” and might not even survive childhood the specialist said.
Christine Staple-Ebanks’s intimate story of her journey to give her son a life and to include him in their family, is chronicled in a new book Raising Nathan: Every Life has a Story to be launched on Saturday, May 7 at the St Andrew High School Margaret Gartshore Hall at 6pm. Honourable Ruel Reid, Minister of Education will deliver opening remarks.
It took Christine two and a half years before she was able to pull herself out of her sorrow and embark on a purposeful journey to gain information and insight on parenting a child with cerebral palsy. “This journey showed me how to see my son and myself differently. I gained a different perspective on life and unlocked my potential that I didn’t even know was there! He has deepened my capacity for love, strength and my faith and belief in the infallible wisdom of God “ she said.

raising_nathan_bookRaising Nathan is self-published and is Mrs Staples-Ebanks’ first book. She hopes her book will provide insight and guidance to parents, educators, medical practitioners and policymakers on children with disabilities and the importance of their inclusion.
Christine and her husband Robert founded the Nathan Ebanks Foundation (NEF) in 2007 – a non-profit voice for children with disabilities. NEF’s mission is to ensure that all children – particularly those with disabilities and special needs – are included, empowered and supported to release their full, amazing potential. The also cofounded the Nathan Ebanks Children Advocacy Group, a registered US non-profit. Mrs. Staple-Ebanks was named a St Andrew High School Trailblazer by her alma mater for her pioneering advocacy for children with disabilities.

christine being awardedSelf-published author and Disability Inclusive/Parenting Advocate, Christine Staple-Ebanks (right) receives the St Andrew High School Foundation’s Trailblazer Award from the Honourable Professor Elsa-Leo Rhynie.