Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities book cover

Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities

by Kathy O'Connell

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Kathy O'Connell at book signing for Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities

Author Kathy O'Connell at a signing for her book Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities


Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities presents perspective and an action plan for anyone who lives with a disability. Author Kathy O’Connell draws from her own experiences of living with cerebral palsy and working with others as a counselor in this powerful — and empowering — book about living life to the fullest with a disability. Readers are offered an approach to moving through feelings of fear and victimization, which lead to embracing and appreciating their different abilities. As a result, people experience greater love, happiness, and fulfillment.

Kathy uses the metaphor of a firewalk to represent the fear we feel when faced with difficulty, circumstances that could further hurt us, and the doubt within about our own ability to be successful. The author’s epiphany during an actual firewalk served as a catalyst for developing this powerful and unique approach she now teaches to clients, audiences, and workshop participants.

Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities shows how to:

  •  View your difference as a valuable gift, teacher, and opportunity for growth
  •  Move beyond hardship and “why me” victimization
  •  Face fear, anger, and frustration head-on so you can access your authentic self
  •  Stop letting others’ attitudes and perceptions define, limit, and hurt you
  •  Get in touch with your sexuality and power to attract others
  •  Find your purpose and go after it with new abilities, strength, and focus

Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities offers invaluable tools for parents and teachers of children with disabilities, as well as new ideas for therapists and other healthcare workers who work with clients and patients who have different abilities.

When we learn to see our disability or difference as a gift, we can use it as a transformative tool. Instead of struggling against what is difficult, or trying to “manage” or “fix” our difference, we can embrace the very thing we resist — and allow it to strengthen us.

Drawing from her own experiences of living with a disability and working with others as a therapist, Kathy offers readers an approach to moving through feelings of fear and victimization to a place where they can embrace and appreciate their different abilities, and as a result experience greater love, happiness, and fulfillment.

Why Firewalk?

Professional Acclaim

Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities is a critically-important, life-changing book for parents and people with disabilities. It should also be required reading for educators, human service professionals, and others in the disability arena. Kathy’s personal experiences and her thought-provoking wisdom can generate significant positive change—change that’s desperately needed to ensure children and adults with disabilities can live their American Dream!”

— Kathie Snow
Parent, Trainer, and Author of Disability is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities

Firewalk is a book for all to read. Kathy took me on a journey of love and personal growth. I learned so much about life from birth, abilities (not disabilities) and myself. Kathy has touched my heart and helped me to delve deeper into my spirit and my soul. I recommend that you read it and pass it on because you will experience “Amazing Grace” through the warmth and joy of Kathy’s thoughts and words!”

— Marti Ciccone, MS, CRC