Honest, informative, and emotional; an inspirational affirmation of the value, depth, and beauty of the disabled that challenges stereotypes.
— Kirkus Review


Connecting to Beautiful… 

is a memoir about Deb’s journey as a disabled child to a wholehearted woman covering topics such as moving from:

  • Shame to trust and vulnerability

  • Fear to courage

  • Self-destruction to self-love

  • Disgust to empathy

  • Depression to self-confidence and purpose

Discover how to recognize the connections you have to art and music, words and books, nature and the planet, as well as yourself and others. Find your hope.



“I realized that I had never considered Deb to be disabled…”

I first met Debra about 30 years ago when she became an occupational therapy student. In my memories of that time, I recall her sitting in my office telling me, among other things, she had cerebral palsy. Upon reading her book so many years later, I realized that I had never considered Debra to be disabled. Sure, I knew she had a limp, but my perception of her was a bright, well-spoken, and self-assured young woman who would certainly be able to succeed in OT school. 

Reading about her journey made me realize how limited my view had been. Debra provides an intimate view into her sometimes turbulent life while confronting various life challenges. For many readers, memories of middle school (or junior high for us older folks) may immediately come to mind since anyone who was the least bit different was always teased and tormented. Imagine going through that with a disability.

Debra provides insight into how she dealt with the cycle of self-disgust and self-destruction, her feelings of shame, and her own body perception over all stages of her life. How does one reach the goals of feeling self-love, trust, hope, empathy, self-confidence and purpose? Fortunately, Debra has shared her process with us, and shown how she traveled the road to Beautiful.

- Susan Heling Kaplan, PhD, MBA, OT

How ironic that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with depression. Reading your book helped me reflect on how I’ve been feeling and made me realize how important using my relationships are to my mental health.
— Anonymous