MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — They say a mother’s work is never done. One Mahomet mother is furthering her mission for more inclusivity. She’s hoping the words in her book, “If You Knew Jordan,” shines more light on the message.
Katrina Roberts is a mother of seven and she’s all about making her kids feel included. When she first fostered 15-day-old Jordan, she didn’t know he would become the driving force behind an inclusion mission.
“I wanted him to know you’re more like everybody else than you’re not,” said Katrina Roberts.
“I’m just a normal person with a couple of quirks. That makes me,” said her son Jordan Roberts.
Jordan was born with a cleft palate, ADHD, and autism. He didn’t speak his first word until he was in the fourth grade.
“It changed me forever. He’s laughing but it wasn’t funny,” said Katrina Roberts.
Jordan had a panic attack for the first time during a field trip the same year. Roberts said while she was trying to calm him parents were staring, the bus driver was yelling, and the young kids didn’t understand.
“And all I kept saying was, if you just knew him, if you just knew him, he’s not this outburst scary, guy. He really is this gentle giant,” said Roberts.
This launched Roberts into the world of spreading awareness, but first, she wanted her son to understand there’s nothing wrong with the way he is.
“If people want to hang out with people with special needs, let them. If they don’t that’s their loss,” said Jordan Roberts.
“They’re really not that much different than other people. They just have a uniqueness,” said Katrina Roberts.
This is the message she wants to get across with her book. It talks about the uniqueness of Jordan and those with and without special needs.
“He says, I’m not different. I’m just quirky. And that’s the truth. It really is that simple. And to help kids who don’t have disabilities, don’t be afraid. Look, your kind of like him. You have similarities,” said Katrina Roberts.