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Jessica Moxham is a writer with interest in the areas of parenting and disability. Her eldest son, Ben, is severely disabled, and she writes a blog discussing how she and her family support him with - and learn from - his disability. Her blog is read by parents, health professionals and educators, among others. Jessica has given lectures to health professionals on her family's experience, from small groups of students to more than 100 doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. She has been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live and has written for the Guardian on austerity and disability. Jessica is also a qualified architect and has worked in London and the Middle East. She now lives in London with her husband and three children, in the house she redesigned to suit Ben. Find Jessica's blog at son-stories.com or follow her on Instagram at @jessmoxham.
Jessica Moxham thought that she had thoroughly prepared for the birth of her baby, with antenatal classes, books on parenting and advice from family and friends. But when Ben was born fighting to stay alive, Jessica knew that she was facing a very different reality from that which she had expected. Subtitled What I Learned from my Disabled Son, Moxham documents each and every stage of what it means, and what is required, to be the parent of a child who will never be able to communicate or move without assistance. From feeding Ben when he can’t eat, to dealing with the labyrinthine red tape and administration required to access the services and support she needs, her deeply moving account faces down the issues of discrimination and Ben’s rights with candour and open-hearted understanding of the world that she is bringing Ben up in. In essence Jessica Moxham has written an extended love letter her son and a rousing call for tolerance and understanding in our views of disability and difference; what it means and how our reactions to it speaks of us as people and as a nation. In her unflinching and hugely uplifting account, Moxham reminds us all of the strength and commitment that parenting requires, the power of family and undying love, and offers solace and hope to all who face obstacles in bringing up a child. It is at once heart-achingly beautiful and heart-warmingly hopeful. The LoveReading LitFest invited Jessica to the festival to tell her story. You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Jessica in conversation with Julia Wheeler: this is a truly heart warming and searingly honest chronicle of a mother’s love and support for a son born with severe disabilities. A completely inspirational story of hope.