Kendra J. Barrett, DPT, is a pediatric physical therapist who has worked in early intervention and public schools for eight years since graduating from Ithaca College with a doctorate in physical therapy. She currently works in a public school for students age 3-21 with intellectual and physical disabilities. Yes I Can! Is her first book, and she was thrilled to work with her mom on this project. Dr. Barrett lives in Towson, MD, with her husband, and she welcomed her first child, a boy, during the process of writing this book.
Introducing Kendra Barrett!
What book(s) have you written? Yes I Can! is my first book and I am delighted that I had the opportunity to work with my mom, Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD (an author in the What to Do series), on this project. She helped encourage and guide me through the book writing process.
What’s your normal writing process? How do you decide what topics to write on? This book was inspired by a need I saw while working in a public school setting. Even the most well-intentioned teachers and parents sometimes have a difficult time finding the right words to talk about physical disabilities. One of my roles as a physical therapist in a public school is to help students with physical disabilities be included in their education as much as possible and educating their teachers and classmates can be a big part of that job. After researching current books available, I found there was a need for an age appropriate resource to help parents and teachers answer the children’s questions, so I decided to write one!
What do you do when you’re not writing books? I am a practicing physical therapist. I currently work in a public school for children age 3-21 with special needs. Prior to my work in the public school setting, I worked with children ages 0-3 in their homes. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and I welcomed our baby boy during the process of writing Yes I Can! and it has been incredible to watch him grow and develop over the past year.
How does it feel to be a published author? I am thrilled to be a published author! I have had the idea for this book for a number of years now and I am so excited to see it come together!
What is your newest book about? Yes I Can! is a story about Carolyn, a first-grade student who uses a wheelchair. It follows her through her typical day at home and school and through special events including a field trip and birthday party.
What is your newest book really about? Yes I Can! is a resource to help teachers and parents start a conversation about people with physical disabilities. It shows young children how daily routines can be adapted to include someone who uses a wheelchair.
What inspired you to write this book? This book came to me while working with one of my elementary students. She faced similar challenges to those of our main character in Yes I Can! and I saw the need for a resource to help teachers and parents educate her peers.
What made you want to publish with Magination? I was familiar with the What to Do series and I felt that my idea for Yes I Can! fit with the vision of Magination Press. I am honored to be a part of an organization that it is filling such an important need for children.