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Colorado Edition: A conversation with 'Capable' author Deborah Winking

Sophia Contino
Courtesy of Deborah Winking
Deborah Winking (right) with a parent and child at Somos Hijos Del Lago (the Children of the Lake), San Pedro, Guatemala

According to recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 14% of public school students in the U.S. are labeled as having some type of disability, including learning disabilities, speech and language impairments, or autism.

Labels can serve as a way to ensure that a child with special needs gets the resources they need. But for Fort Collins author Deborah Winking, labels can also create expectations that limit a child’s development.

Early in her career as an educator, Winking taught children with autism at the New England Center for Autism.

“Through it all, I kind of saw how the emphasis on labeling, and the misuse of diagnostic testing, really got in the way of opportunities for my students,” she said.

In her new book, Capable: A Story of Triumph for Children the World has Judged as “Different,” Winking shares her own deeply personal story of raising a child with special needs.

Deborah Winking joins Colorado Edition to discuss the book and her work with other parents to help their children succeed, regardless of the challenges they face.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. Web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.   Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.