Episode 184: Everyone Belongs with Heather Avis

Heather Avis is the founder of The Lucky Few, a New York Times best-selling author, podcaster and a Down syndrome advocate, working to create a more inclusive world where everyone belongs. For more than a decade, she has led this effort by shouting worth, shifting narratives, and reimagining what it looks like when we embrace our differences. Heather just released her 3rd book called Everyone Belongs, a children’s book that teaches kids about being loving and inclusive especially to those who have disabilities. Heather patiently and graciously talked through all my questions about what it's like to be a mom of kids who have Down syndrome and gave beautiful advice on how we can teach our kids to be more inclusive and why she believes it starts with our kids. I learned so much from this interview and was left feeling so uplifted and I know you will too.


Time Stamps:

[00:59] – Heather Avis talks about The Lucky Few and where the phrase comes from.

[02:22] – How can we tell a “truer story” about Down syndrome?

[05:19] – Who is Heather’s “Scariest and Best Yes”?

[07:04] – “You can’t know what you don’t know.”

[09:27] – When speaking about people outside of our own community, we should get our cues from that community.

[12:17] – Heather shares the spark she felt the moment she read this email from a social worker.

[14:54] – What was it like to finally complete the adoption?

[16:39] – How did Heather’s family react to the decision?

[19:22] – Heather talks about dealing with society systems that try to put a limit on who her children are as people.

[21:04] – Every person is already valuable, even when in pursuit of better.

[24:02] – What made Heather decide to say “yes” to another baby diagnosed with Down syndrome?

[26:50] – Parenting is one step at a time for every parent.

[28:11] – Everyone belongs.

[30:56] – Heather shares examples of how parents can have open conversations with their kids around disability and differences.

[33:47] – You are equipped to handle your journey, and there is a community here to help you.

[36:14] – “Exactly who you are is exactly who we pick.”


Supporting Resources:

Heather’s Website: Heatheravis.com

“Everyone Belongs” Book by Heather Avis


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