After watching her brother suffer years of exclusion from his peers as a result of having a rare medical condition, a Fermanagh mum has written a children’s book which she she hopes will promote inclusion and kindness in children.

Lisbellaw mum Esther Robinson has penned her first book ‘A Little Bit Extraordinary’ for children on the topic of Down’s Syndrome. The main character in her book is named after and inspired by A little girl called Juliet who lives in Maguiresbridge who has Down’s Syndrome.

Esther had met Juliet while her son and Juliet were in nursery school together.

“I asked her mum if it was okay to name a character after her and she was delighted to have the character named after her.”

Esther added: “She carried her copy around with her all day when she received it.”

Esther’s brother has a rare syndrome known as WAGR syndrome which led him to be registered blind as a child. He was unable to go to the same school as Esther when he was growing up which led to some exclusion in his life.

She took inspiration from his condition but knew it was not possible to write a book about it.

The book is a 32-page hard-backed colour book which has been illustrated by Fermanagh based artist, Gráinne Knox.

It follows Juliet as she shares her feelings, hopes and dreams in a story for other children so they can learn more about Down’s Syndrome.

Esther was inspired to write the book after seeing a case about the bullying of a child who had Down’s Syndrome in the news. “I was writing another book and put it on hold because of the bullying case.”

Esther hopes that her book teaches children to be “inclusive of others”.

She said: “The book is not just for kids who have Down’s Syndrome it is for everyone. I want it to help prevent bullying and to teach empathy, kindness and forgiveness.”

Esther believes her book could be a great resource.

“It can be a resource for parents who have children with disabilities, but it can also be a resource for all primary schools and pre-schools to teach messages of empathy and kindness”

The book which Esther laid out and edited herself at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown has now been recognised by American based Literary Titan awards.

“A Little Bit Extraordinary was given five gold stars by the company and it was then awarded the gold award for September” which delighted Esther.