Disability Book, “Our Friend Mikayla” Sent to Every PA Elementary School

May 7, 2012

Teachers and students in every public elementary school in Pennsylvania will soon have access to a book that its authors hope will help us all better understand the lives of those with special needs.

Mikayla Resh, an eastern Pennsylvania girl, was born with a brain injury which resulted in disabilities. In third grade, her fellow classmates wrote and illustrated a book titled Our Friend Mikayla that describes their interactions with Mikayla in their elementary school.

The Arc of Pennsylvania and Mikayla's Voice recently received grants to distribute one copy of Our Friend Mikayla to every public elementary school in the Commonwealth.

"The message is really about appreciating students who are different and appreciating the fact that just because someone looks different, or someone acts a little different, they really are special people and they have the same interests and the same feelings that other students do," said Arc of Pennsylvania spokesperson Todd Dickinson.

Mikayla is now a sophomore at Nazareth Area High School in Northampton County.

The book is primarily a children's book, but Dickinson said the message is one that is universal for all ages. The book was mailed along with a letter encouraging teachers and staff members to read Our Friend Mikayla to their classes to help in raising awareness about including children with disabilities in everyday classroom interactions.