Interview Janet Ann Collins Children’s Books on Accepting Differences and Disabilities

Interview Janet Ann Collins Children’s Books on Accepting Differences and Disabilities

Our Author Interview Series has made it possible to get to know very remarkable individuals. Folks who visit our site also enjoy reading about the people behind the books they have bought for parenting or teaching advice or for their child or students.  Today’s interview introduces you to another amazing person, Janet Ann Collins author of children’s books. On her site, Janet wrote, “Besides being a writer, speaker, and teacher I’ve been a parent, foster parent of kids with special needs, and I’m now a grandparent.”  Let’s learn more about her career, motherhood, and her books.

Please note that in November of 2014  A Shadow of Fear by Janet Ann Collins came out. It is a “Christian Tween Novella to  Learn to Cope with Fears”.

Lorna: Welcome to our Author Interview Series! First, please tell us about your teaching career and what you found most gratifying during your years working with children with special needs.

<<  Janet  Ann Collins  >> I’ve worked with kids who have special needs as a counsellor and instructional counsellor at California School for the Deaf and as a substitute teacher. I enjoy kids in general and working with kids who have special needs is gratifying in the same way as working with any kids. It’s fun to get to know them and to watch them learn and grow.

Lorna: I was amazed when I read how you and your husband were the foster parents of three sons with special needs.  You surely did a good job; as afterwards, I read you are now the grandparents of four foster children also! Tell us about that experience and what advice you have on fostering children with special needs.

<<  Janet  Ann Collins >>Because foster parents are bound by confidentiality I can’t talk much about our kids, but the best advice I can give any foster parents is to treat the kids like their own.  Special needs can make some kids difficult, but, like all kids, they need love. I’m still in touch with two of the Foster kids who are now in their 40s and have recently gotten in contact with the children of the other one through the internet. Those are my Foster grandchildren.

The Peril of the Sinister ScientistLorna: Now to your books. All this experience with kids surely prepared you to write children’s books.  What motivated you to try your hand at writing? What was your first book and what is it about?

<<  Janet  Ann Collins >> I always loved to read and  had an active imagination as a child. One thing that motivates  me to write is giving back some of the benefits books have given me. My first book, The Peril of the Sinister Scientist, is about a boy who thought he was cloned from the blood on the Shroud of Turin because a scientist who worked on that experiment is stalking him. One of the main characters is a girl who uses a wheelchair.

Lorna: Please tell us about your other books. What comments do you receive about your children’s books that motivate you to continue writing?Slime & All a children's book

<<  Janet  Ann Collins >>  My other books are Secret Service Saint, Signs of Trouble, and Slime & All. The first one on the list is about Nicholas, who discovers the adventure of doing secret good deeds and eventually becomes known as Santa Claus. Signs of Trouble is about kids who get separated from their Special Ed class on a field trip and use what they’ve learned about safety rules and recognizing signs to get back with them. Slime & All is sort of an allegory. It’s about a giant talking worm that has no friends and a boy who helps him.

I’ve also self-published a booklet, Dealing with Different Diets,  to help people  cope with a special diet for medical reasons. I give PDF copies away for free to anyone who requests it through the Contact Me page of my website.

Lorna: I read on your site, “I’m available for speaking engagements in California and parts of Nevada. I have spoken at meetings, schools, and churches. I have led workshops at conferences, and taught adult classes.” Please tell us about the most popular topics you are asked to speak about or teach.

<<  Janet  Ann Collins >>  I’ve spoken a lot about writing, working with young kids and helping people with invisible disabilities.

Lorna: You also teach American Sign Language in six to twelve one-hour classes to help people get started. I saw you also speak about using Sign Language with Babies and Children. Please elaborate.

<<  Janet  Ann Collins >>  I think the best way to become fluent in any language is to learn a little bit of it and then spend time with people who actually use the language. That’s why I only give a basic introduction to American Sign Language in my classes and encourage my students to get involved in the Deaf community to learn more. Because Deaf people used to be forbidden to use Sign Language in schools some of them still feel strongly about ASL being their own language and don’t like hearing people who aren’t from Deaf families to teach it.

It’s much easier for babies to learn to sign than to speak because they can control their hands sooner than the muscles required to talk. But some of the “Baby Signs” in books and videos aren’t real American Sign Language and I think real ASL should be used with babies. Nobody would make up sounds and call them “Baby Spanish.”

Lorna: Thank you so much for your two guest posts introducing Special Needs Book Review readers to two of your children’s books and for making the time for this interview. What is on Janet Ann Collins’s To-Do list for the coming months? Please give us your links to follow you and where to buy your books.

<<  Janet  Ann Collins >>  Thank you very much for interviewing me, and for telling people about my books. They can be ordered through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, or through the publisher. Links to buy them and the one to my blog are on my website,

I’m a substitute teacher, so my schedule is not very predictable, but I’ll be speaking at  a writers’ conference in February, 2013, The 20th Annual Christian Writers Seminar. Of course I’ll be writing, attending meetings of the writers’ groups I belong to, and doing lots of social networking. I hope to see you and some of your readers there.Learn to Cope with Fears – A Shadow of Fear by Janet Ann Collins – Christian Tween Novella

Follow Janet Ann Collins:

Buy Books Book About Kids with Learning Disabilities- Signs of Trouble by Janet Ann Collinsby Janet Ann Collins

See also Janet Ann Collin’s two guest posts and our interview with her:

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
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