Your youngster may be interested in persons with disabilities, whether it be a classmate with dyslexia or a cousin who uses a wheelchair. By discussing disability with your child, you can help them better comprehend why certain individuals behave, appear, or move in somewhat different ways.
Utilize Direct Language
Never try to persuade your youngster that a person with a disability is the same as them. Instead, admit that they are a little different while emphasizing that being different does not automatically equate to negative behavior.
Then, demonstrate to your child how to respectfully discuss such differences. Give your youngster the vocabulary to describe someone with a physical or learning handicap.
Inform your youngster in a straightforward manner about difficulties. Say things like, “Your uncle’s legs don’t have muscles like yours. They were born with one leg, which is why they have problems walking. They, therefore, walk using a prosthetic leg that was created for them by doctors.
Try to keep your emotions from coming through in your speech. If you describe someone’s impairment as “sad” or “terrible,” your child may develop sympathy for the individual, which is counterproductive.
The following are some crucial points:
1. Some people have disabilities from birth. Make it known that infants with disabilities can occasionally be born. However, occasionally people experience difficulties later in life.
2. Disability sufferers are not ill. Describe how a child who has muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy is not sick. Your youngster shouldn’t have any fears about developing a disability, of course.
3. Nothing is wrong with those who have disabilities. Your youngster might inquire, “What’s wrong with that girl?” Explain that just because a youngster has issues walking or talking doesn’t indicate they are “wrong” in any way.
4. A person does not necessarily have a cognitive disability if they have a physical one. Kids occasionally believe that someone with a physical disability will have trouble communicating or may not be very smart. Make it obvious that a person’s brain is not necessarily affected just because their body doesn’t function the same way.
Describe Adaptive Technology
Explain to your youngster how persons with impairments may use assistive technology. A student might wear a hearing aid, while others might need to use a wheelchair or crutches to get around.
You may also clarify why there are parking places nearby for those who have physical limitations. Describe how a person may operate a special vehicle made to accommodate a wheelchair with a ramp or lift.
Teach your child the best ways to help someone who is using adaptive equipment. You should make it plain to your child, for example, that they should never pet a dog in a service vest unless the owner specifically requests them to, and discuss how holding a door open for a wheelchair user may make it simpler for them to get around.
Don’t convey the idea that people with disabilities are totally unique from everyone else. Mention the similarities between your child and a child with a disability. Describe her as being equally adept at arithmetic as you are, for example. Additionally, you two enjoy the same genre of music.
Your child can relate to persons with impairments more effectively and develop empathy if they realize how similar they are.
Together, Learn About Disabilities.
It’s likely that you won’t know every detail concerning someone’s impairment. You can teach your youngster how to educate himself on unknown problems by doing research on a handicap together.
Look for websites that cater to children and include details about conditions like autism, Down syndrome, learning impairments, and other conditions that your child may be curious about. After that, go over the data as a group.
Additionally, read age-appropriate literature about disability, and search for TV programs that cover particular disorders. For instance, Julia, a Muppet character on Sesame Street, has autism.
Teaching Sensitivity And Kindness
Unfortunately, there is a potential that your youngster will hear certain derogatory terms used to characterize someone’s disability and may even repeat them. Deal with these comments immediately away. Teach your youngster that using nasty language is not acceptable.
Give a negative consequence if your youngster continues to use those terms after you’ve told them they’re unsuitable. Make it obvious that insulting others and talking poorly of them won’t be accepted.
Make sure you serve as a positive example. Your youngster will imitate your language if you refer to persons with disabilities in an outdated or improper manner.
Tell Your Kids To Ask Before They Assist
Children frequently desire to assist others, but they might not know how to do so in a way that is genuinely beneficial. Or they might endanger themselves.
If the person in the wheelchair doesn’t see your child, getting close behind them without first asking if they need help could be harmful. Similar to this, if your child observes an autistic child who appears to be extremely troubled, they could be inclined to step in. However, it’s possible that the kid just needs a little breathing room to settle down; hugging them can make things worse.
Teach your child to think things through first before acting. When one person says, “Is there anything I can do to help?” the other person has the chance to respond and express if help would be appreciated.
How to Discuss a Loved One Who Is Disabled
If your child grows up with a family member who is disabled, such as a cousin or grandfather, additional questions may arise over time. They could ask more complicated queries as they learn more about the body.
Ask the person who has the condition, if it’s a close friend or family member, if they are willing to speak with your child about it. Your loved one can be eager to respond to inquiries in order to help your child understand.
How to Approach a Classmate With a Disability
There may be concerns your child has about a classmate that you are unable to address. You might not understand why a classmate needs assistance eating their lunch or why another doesn’t use complete words. I’m not sure why they require help eating, you may say. Perhaps their arm muscles aren’t as functional as yours.
You might want to speak with your child’s teacher as well. Although the instructor is unable to discuss another student with you, it might be useful for the teacher to be aware that your child and other kids probably have questions as well.
You should encourage your child to join activities with other children who are disabled. Your child can be inclusive by sitting at the same table for lunch, participating in recess activities, or simply striking up a discussion.
You might wish to give the other parent a call to discuss how to make it happen if your child wants to invite a child who has a disability to a birthday celebration. “My kid wants to have a party, and he’d love for your child to come,” you should say. Is there anything we should be aware of to ensure their safety and enjoyment?
How to Discuss Your Disability with Your Child
Your youngster might be very curious about whether you will get better or why you are unable to accomplish certain activities if you have a disability. It’s crucial to provide sincere responses in a kid-friendly manner.
If a parent has a condition that isn’t obvious to others, it can be perplexing for children. Kids need to know a little about the science behind what’s happening to your body because they can’t always see what’s wrong, such as when a parent has a problem like chronic pain.
Additionally, talking about your self-care techniques might be beneficial. Tell your child that you are taking care of yourself by going to physical therapy, getting acupuncture, or taking medicine.
If your child is having trouble adjusting because you have a new disability—such as losing a leg in an accident—get professional assistance. Having your child talk to a therapist might help them work through their feelings and adjust to the new situation.