Lauren Smith-Donohoe was born and raised in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, where she lives now in East Oakland with her partner, Robbie, and their children on a small urban farm, affectionately nicknamed “Down To Earth Family Farm.” Robbie and Lauren’s three children, Persephone (2002) and Dubhlainn (2014), and Connolly (2017) are the inspiration for both Lauren’s writing and her commitment to social justice. The Smith-Donohoes keep small goats and chickens, and dream of building a duck pond one day soon.
Lauren is a writer, childbirth enthusiast, gardener, lifelong student and practitioner of herbalism, street medic, loudly opinionated leftist, and a retired karaoke star.
Lauren has created a comprehensive presentation with education materials for Early Childhood Educators and Early Interventionists, called Child Led Supports to Replace Harmful Interventions. She has also put together a workshop for parents of disabled children who are in Early Intervention programs, called Nothing Broken Here: Supporting Your Disabled Child Without Trying to Fix Them, that uses the social model of disability as a foundation for parenting and navigating therapies in early childhood. Lauren also speaks locally in the Bay Area at various Social Services agencies on these topics and more– specifically focusing on protecting the parent-child relationship when there is intervention in early childhood. She travels locally to Bay Area middle schools (for free) to give presentations in 7th grade science classes on Down syndrome during the module on human genetic disorders. For more information, or to book Lauren at your school or event, please use the form on the Event page.
In addition to community-based work advocating for the autonomy of disabled children, Lauren is writing a book called Raising Up Down Syndrome, a new guide for parents in the first 3 years of raising a child with Down syndrome, or Trisomy 21 (T21). Raising Up Down Syndrome takes a new approach to parenting a child with T21, one that centers the child and their experience, and looks at common parenting issues through the lens of the social model of disability with the intent of empowering and elevating the status of children with T21. Please check back for more information and excerpts of Raising Up Down Syndrome in the near future!