Brian A. Beale is just a dad. He is a just a dad who, through life experiences, has developed a passion for promoting acceptance and inclusion of individuals who may appear to be different on the surface, but who are found to be so much more alike once given a chance. Brian’s son, Colin, was born in 1998 with Down syndrome. From the day Colin was born, Brian and his wife, Mary, set-out on their crusade to turn this experience into a positive one. They founded the Lil’ Bealsy Tee-Up for Down Syndrome, a non-profit organization that serves to increase awareness of Down syndrome while raising funds for groups and initiatives supporting individuals with special needs. Brian always knew he wanted to do more. With an English degree and a love for writing in rhyming verse, he wrote his first children’s book, Colin Gets a Chance.
My Name is Colin…and this is who I am is the second book in Brian’s Colin Series of books about acceptance and inclusion. Brian continues to open up the lines of communication between parents and teachers with their children regarding a highly sensitive and often very delicate subject of Down syndrome and disabilities in general.
In keeping with the theme of Colin Gets a Chance, all illustrations in My Name is Colin…and this is who I am, including the book cover, were done by individuals with Down syndrome, truly exemplifying what they can do if just given a chance. Brian firmly believes they are the real stars of his books, and he considers himself fortunate to be along for the ride.
Brian and Mary live in Springfield, Pennsylvania with Colin and their two daughters, Samantha and Chrissy. Colin’s sisters not only teach him, but they continue to learn from him every day. Brian’s hope is through his book, My Name is Colin…and this is who I am, many other children will learn the same.