“Share Your Story” Winner Rachel Cunningham

What links me to the special needs community? I feel like my life has been one beautiful journey in learning about, supporting, and fully embracing the special needs community. I was raised by a parent who was a special education teacher and nannied as a high school and college student for two children who had special needs. Those two experiences are what lit a desire in me to pursue becoming a speech therapist. I served as a speech therapist in the early intervention field for twelve years and loved every second — loving children, celebrating miracles and “inchstones”, and seeing what a joy and asset children of all abilities are for our society collectively. Last year, my family welcomed our third child, Selah, to the world. Her middle name is Bea which means “bringer of joy”. Selah has far surpassed her name. She is JOY and LIGHT. She also has Down syndrome. She has taught me on a deeper level what it means to have special needs. Selah doesn’t need “fixing”. She is who she is and that is why we love her so. She has also showed me that even I as a therapist had a preconceived notion of her limits. She blows me out of the water. She is walking, using so many signs to communicate, and LOVES to eat! I have always been linked to the special needs community, but having Selah has tripled my heart for it now! I’m so thankful for businesses like TalkTools who support and celebrating people with special needs. Selah has benefited so much from the education I have gained from TalkTools webinars, trainings, books, and oral motor tools.

Rachel Cunningham


Some more photos of Selah!

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