Talk to your kids about disability

Children with disabilities at Itetero School, Busanza entertain each other. Be the kind of parent who openly and clearly discusses about disability with your child

Whether at school, home, church or the surrounding environment, there is someone with a disability, it is for this reason that kids are taught how to treat them. Children are inquisitive creatures who need to know why such people are the way they are and how best can they provide help to them, be the kind of parent who openly and clearly discusses about disability with your child.

A disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. It may be present from birth or occur during a person’s lifetime. For example; vision impairment, deaf or mental health conditions, intellectual disability, acquired brain injury, autism, spectrum disorder and physical disability.

 

As a teacher, parent, or care taker, these are tips that can help you have a dialogue with your kid about disability;

 

Stop isolation.Raise a kid who knows that disability does not lead to segregation or isolation. Rather encourage them that such people are not created differently, but need to be loved and cared for as they also have feelings, enjoy fun activities, love making friends among others. Kids should know the simple sign language that can help them communicate with the deaf. The lame should be given assistance especially in places where it is difficult to move especially on stair cases. Children should provide a helping hand where necessary. This will make the disabled feel loved just like any other normal kid.

 

Teach sympathy and empathy.Kids are all blessed in different ways, they all have strengths and weaknesses, advise your child to focus on the strengths of the disabled but not their impossibilities. For examples you might find a blind child that is good at drawing or singing.

Address bullying habits. Children especially those that are not groomed properly might want to tease the disadvantaged just to prove that they are better and stronger than them, however advice your child that hurting any child in any way is wrong and if he or she has bullied anyone, encourage them to apologise. Teach children to treat their colleagues with respect regardless of who they are.

Treat their devices with respect.Explain to your child to treat medical devices, like canes, or wheelchairs, with respect. Let them understand that the devices are there to help the person who needs them, and that they are not toys to play with.

What to do while interacting with the disabled.

Smile and be yourself, don’t over put your attention on their disability but rather focus on the person’s abilities.

Be respectful and offer assistance if asked or if the need is obvious. Do not move wheelchairs or other mobility aids without permission from the owner.

Speak gently and directly when talking to a person with a hearing impairment. Do not think that a person with a hearing or speech impairment has an intellectual disability.

Be patient and considerate of that person’s feelings when talking to others. Do not say anything that would sound mean to them. Do not show the disabled persons that they can’t perform some tasks, they do not want to hear that.

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