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Inclusive Education Project Podcast

Dec 3, 2019

Michelle Sullivan joins Amanda and Vickie on today’s episode. 

Michelle is a warrior mom whose advocacy was inspired by her son, Eli, who has Down’s Syndrome, to found Littlest Warrior Apparel and to write a book entitled Eli, Included, which is a fictional story about Eli's first day of school. 

Are you ready to be inspired? Listen in to hear about Michelle’s journey and her mission to help others see that everyone has value and something to offer. 

Show Highlights:

  • Michelle shares an overview of some of the negativity she received from medical professionals and family members upon learning during her pregnancy that her son had Down’s Syndrome, and the actual blessing that he is. She also provides the background of how she came to start Littlest Warrior Apparel.
  • Amanda, Vickie, and Michelle discuss perceptions about Down’s Syndrome and other differently-abled people. 
  • Michelle relates how friends provided resources for early intervention, and how she initially didn’t know anything about inclusion. Meeting people and hearing their stories had a big impact on her.
  • All children, including those with Down’s Syndrome, benefit from being in a classroom with others and being exposed to different learning styles and various viewpoints.
  • Michelle describes how her three older daughters were in private school before Eli was born, how the school mistreated one daughter with ADHD and the hard lessons she learned from that.
  • Having decided they wanted Eli included, he was started in IEP in preschool at age 3, and he was in a classroom with typical peers. As time got closer to kindergarten, Michelle started hearing stories about kids that were not included, so she wrote the book, Eli, Included, as a step of faith. 
  • As it turns out, when they went to his IEP, they did not want to include him. Michelle was told that if he were in a classroom, he would just be back in the classroom with his aide, “trying” to do all the work.
  • Her husband was at that meeting and stepped up to the plate, and asked for them to just let him try. The school agreed on a 30-day trial. 
  • Thankfully, within a week they found out that Eli had been accepted to the charter school for which they’d applied. This charter school is one that values inclusion.
  • Michelle describes her emotions at the first meeting she attended at the charter school.
  • “Advocate Like a Mother™” - this is what Michelle kept hearing in the back of her mind.    After some time, she did a search to make sure the slogan wasn’t taken, put it on a shirt, and got it trademarked. The shirt became wildly popular and the basis for her Littlest Warrior Apparel.
  • From there, she started her podcast to help support other moms who were doing incredible things. 


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IEP website

This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matters, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.

Suggested Book

Eli, Included by Michelle Sullivan

Connect with Michelle!

Michelle’s Website

Michelle’s Facebook

Michelle’s Instagram

Michelle’s Podcast