Kristi Meyer, Children's Author, Professor, Physical Therapist, Parent of Child with Feeding Tube
Children's Author, Professor, Physical Therapist, Parent of Child with Feeding Tube, Speaker
Kristin Meyer is the author of an empowering new children's book titled The Adventures of Team Super Tubie, which features kids with feeding tubes (called Super Tubies) who use their tubes to gain superpowers and heroically save the day!
The book, with beautiful illustrations by award-winning illustrator, Kevin Cannon, depicts children of different genders, different races, and with different types of tubes – a G-tube, an N-G Tube, and TPN. While their parents think they are sleeping, these heroes spring into action to use their feeding tubes to fight fires, battle dragons, and capture bank thieves. Being a Super Tubie has never been so much fun!
Meyer, a physical therapist and Chair of the Kinesiology Department at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is the mother of four boys, including one who uses a feeding tube for his nutritional needs. The inspiration to write The Adventures of Team Super Tubie came from Kristi’s son, who had a G-tube placed when he was two-and-a-half years old. In searching for kid-friendly resources, the Meyers learned that there were few books related to feeding tubes for kids and none that depicted these kids as the true superheroes they are.
Giving back to their community is an important part of the Super Tubie mission. Through her book and presentations, Meyer aims to raise awareness and acceptance of all differences including medical needs, and especially feeding tubes. Just as some people use glasses to help read, or a wheelchair for mobility, others need a feeding tube for their nutritional needs. Normalizing feeding tubes and other medical needs is one more way our communities can teach acceptance and inclusion to our children.
The most important thing the author wants readers to gain from her books:
To feel acceptance and empowerment. I want all kids, especially those with special medical needs, to identify with the characters in the book and feel empowered and special in their own lives. They are all superheroes, all special, and all very brave!
Why the author is an authority on the subject of her books:
The inspiration to write The Adventures of Team Super Tubie came from Kristi’s son, who had a Gastrostomy tube placed when he was two-and-a-half years old. In searching for kid-friendly resources, the Meyers learned that there were few books related to feeding tubes for kids and none that depicted these kids as the true superheroes they are.
Parenting a child with a feeding tube, in addition to working as a pediatric physical therapist, gives Meyer a unique perspective on the prevalence of feeding tubes. Books like The Adventures of Team Super Tubie and Meyer’s associated presentations, provide a unique time when we, as a community, can change the narrative to focus on the positive benefits the children receive because of tube feeding. Although there can be many misconceptions about tube feeding, a book such as The Adventures of Team Super Tubie, allows children with feeding tubes to be seen as the strong, brave children they are. Many of the hundreds of conditions that can require tube feeding aren’t visible and therefore, the need for tube feeding can be misunderstood. These children often look well nourished, because of the great lengths families go and because they receive nutritional support through tube feeding. It is rewarding to show the positive benefit when children get the nutrition and hydration they need.
The Meyer family wanted to write this book to help other kids with feeding tubes see themselves as the brave superheroes that they are, and to feel proud that the thing that makes them different, is also where they can find their greatest strength!
Giving back to their community is also an important part of the Super Tubie mission. From their website, www.supertubie.com, readers can purchase books and superhero capes to be donated to families of kids receiving a new feeding tube at local children’s hospitals. “Getting a new feeding tube can be a scary time for kids and their families,” Meyer writes, “Our primary mission is to empower children to be accepting and proud of their tube and what better way to do this than to donate a book to be given to a child the day they receive their new tube? A book which depicts children with feeding tubes as the brave superheroes they are!”
Speaking Engagements and School Presentations:
Through her speaking engagements and presentations, Kristi Meyer would love to raise awareness and acceptance of all differences, special medical needs, and especially feeding tubes. Her school and library presentations include a reading of the book, open question and answer discussions, as well as education about feeding tubes and using nutritional support (including a demonstration of feeding bags, pumps, formula, extensions, and various types of tubes).
Meyer has additionally presented learning discussions related to authorship and publishing her own book, and can include Super Tubie related extended learning ideas for the classroom appropriate to various elementary age groups.
Willing to Travel
Health & Fitness/Nutrition