Where does ‘Little Echoes’ come from? Little Echoes began life as a secret Facebook group for the founder Tracey to share her family’s journey with the people closest to them. They had no idea about their daughter’s genetic condition until the day she was born and the news that something wasn’t ‘quite right’ (not our words) sent them into what she can only describe as shock. Suddenly, they were propelled into an overwhelming roller-coaster of emotions, appointments, medical procedures, and tests.
When they should have been enjoying those first newborn weeks, they were instead holding their baby down flat with cling-film for x-rays. It wasn’t quite how they imagined their parenting journey would begin. Tracey and her husband had so many questions, fears and new terms to learn. They had to unlearn everything they had read in the books, everything they were told by society, by their network, and by the media about becoming a parent. They were lost. The only thing they were sure of was their fierce love for their beautiful baby girl.
Over time, Little Echoes soon became an essential part of Tracey’s coping strategy; she would post medical information, research and document their daily lives. It was a way to express her deepest thoughts. She feels that she owes so much to the friends and family who were and still are a part of that group. They listened, really listened.
Such a simple group was now giving Tracey’s family a voice – her daughter a voice – and a safe place for them to be heard. It gave their friends and relatives the opportunity to share their journey, offer words of comfort and support. This was to prove even more valuable when the family relocated overseas as they had more barriers to overcome, and a profound isolation that they really did not consider. Probably the most amazing outcome of this group, this outlet, is the courage Tracey feels it gave them to seek out other families who could really understand; who knew what they were going through without having to explain medical terminology or justify emotions. Tracey feels that connecting with others was and still is the best step they could have taken.
They are now part of a wonderful community back home and those new friends they met will be their friends for life. They helped getting the family through some of their darkest days, gave strength when they felt like falling apart as they watched their little girl go into surgery, but crucially, they helped the family to see the beauty in their journey when sometimes; all they could see was pain. The outlook and attitude is so far removed from their feelings of sadness at the start of this path. They can’t imagine their daughter being any other way, and frankly, they wouldn’t want to. She is a wonder. A miracle. And simply perfect.
Tracey now feels it is their turn to create a community in their adopted city, to help others find their voice, to offer those words of comfort and support, to give the strength of friendship.
It all starts with first finding a safe place. We hope Little Echoes will be that safe place for you and your family.
Tracey is the founder and CEO of Little Echoes, and mother to a fabulous 4-year-old girl who has multiple and complex needs, and who is also nonspeaking. Tracey was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia as an adult, giving her a more profound understanding of herself and how she interprets the world. She is a complementary therapist, community manager and is dedicated to improving accessibility and inclusion for families like her own.
Tanya is the Little Echoes treasurer and a mother of four, currently negotiating the world of BUP & Habilitering. Tanya is an IT consultant by day and a neuropsychologist-wannabe by night. She believes in continuous learning, especially through children, as they have so much to teach. She has experience as a union representative on a corporate board and does a bit of gardening as a means of relaxation.
Terese is the Little Echoes board secretary who runs a production and communications studio and an online influencer network, fighting for equality for all, regardless of gender, race, disability, sexuality, age or lifestyle. Terese believes that society and all it has to offer should be accessible to everyone and that the work Little Echoes does is an important step in the right direction.
Leena-Maaretta is a Little Echoes trustee who is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Literature at Södertörn University. Leena-Maaretta has previously been published in “Femt!den” and “Hjärnstorm”. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 15 and as part of the Little Echoes’ board, her focus lies with intersectionality.