The Son in Her Heart
No one could ever say that Betty Rowe had it easy, raising six children in the bush from the 1950s, one of them with Down syndrome. But Betty always looked for the positives in the challenges she faced, and perhaps the greatest of these has been helping her now adult son, Peter, find his voice.
Together, this courageous mother and son have written an inspiring and heart warming book called The Sun In My Heart, which will be presented by Peter Rowe and his facilitator Tracey Wiggins at a very special author night with wine and cheese at Peregian Beach Community House next Thursday.
Today, Peter, despite his disability, is a professional artist, poet and author, living a fulfilling life thanks in no small measure to Betty’s faith and unfaltering love. In 2002 Peter Rowe became the whistle blower on one of the worst cases of institutional sexual and emotional abuse in Queensland, perhaps Australia. But this is not a negative or depressing book – far from it.
Peter is non-verbal, but communicates brilliantly through Facilitated Communication, largely with his facilitator Tracey. He says proudly on his website: “I am an author, illustrator, artist, presenter and motivational speaker, and yes, I also just happen to have Down syndrome. I am not ashamed of having Down syndrome, nor do I feel limited or defined by this, in fact I think it is very important to embrace who you are and what makes you different.”
What makes Peter different is the extraordinary range of creative skills that have enabled him to publish eight successful children’s books, and speak so courageously about his life. He says: “I have finally found a way to share my voice. I am passionate about sharing my story to help change social perceptions, and educate people in our communities to look beyond the label and see the person, the ability NOT the disability. I want to encourage everyone, regardless of abilities, to find their voices and share their stories. Paint it, sing it, write it dance it, do whatever it takes but share who you are, what you stand for and what you have to say. We all have something to share and together we can all make a difference.”
The Sun In My Heart Author Presentation, Peregian Beach Community House, David Low Way, Peregian Beach, Thursday, May 6. $25 per person (children free) – $10 from each ticket will go directly to Down Syndrome Queensland. Bookings are essential: Phone 5448 2053 or email email@example.com