Kids #TalkJustice Disabilities
With all our #TalkJustice topics exposure and education goes such a long way in our kids growth in empathy, awareness and action. Talking about disabilities helps kids with familiarity, comfort level and response to those they encounter.
Expose your kids to different kinds of disabilities. The following are good examples to begin with…
Physical: Asthma, Blindness, Cerebral Palsy, Deafness, Diabetes, Down’s Syndrome, Epilepsy, Facial Disfigurement, Hearing Impairments, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Tourette’s Syndrome,
Cognitive: ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, Cognitive Impairments, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Learning Disabilities, Speech Impediments,
Emotional: Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Eating Disorders, Self-Harming
Remind your kids that we all face challenging obstacles in our lives. Encourage kids to understand that those with disabilities are not so different than themselves. Kids with disabilities typically do not want to be treated differently. It is usually all right to start a friendly conversation. Most kids don’t mind answering questions from peers about why they have leg braces or hearing aides. If classmates are experiencing difficulties with more unseen disabilities challenge your kids to remember that not every disability is visible.
The beautiful line from the new Cinderella movie was HAVE COURAGE. BE KIND
Wonder challenged us to #ChooseKind. I’ve spend a lot of time in my grown-up life working as a special education paraprofessional. Kids have really big hearts. Sometimes their acts of kindness to their classmates floors me. They are good at disabilities. We just have to make sure they fully understand how important choosing kind is.
Kids with disabilities may be at risk for bullying or feeling alone. Help your kids to learn how to always #ChooseKid, as so beautifully express to us in the book Wonder. Invite kids with disabilities to parties, playdates and outings. Kids are amazingly resilient, they don’t want to be seen as not capable. Challenge your kids to see the whole person. The disability is just a small part of who they are, it does not define them.
Disability Discussion Starters:
Help your family go deeper:
- Do we all learn the same? Are some subjects harder for others?
- What is everyone called you the ‘brown haired girl’ is that the only thing that defines you? Do labels describe a whole person?
- Many people who have disabilities have grown up to be famous artists, writers, athletes and really anything you could dream of.
- Do you think kids with disabilities might develop some amazing strengths? Courage? Perseverance? Compassion for others?
- What would be easier or harder about having a visible disability vs. a hidden disability?
- Do you think all societies treat people with disabilities equally?
- How could your family support someone with a disability?
- When you encounter someone with a disability could place yourself in their shoes? How might your reaction change?
- Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
- Eliza Bing is Not a Big Fat Quitter by Carmella Van Vleet
- Frida by Jonah Winter
- It’s Ok to be Different by Todd Parr
- Thank you Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
- Views from our Shoes
- Sibling Slam Book
- Wonder by RJ Palacio
18 Ways to Take Action!
- Use this disability checklist for your church. It will open up conversation.
- Print off a braille alphabet card, add glue to practice the feeling of reading this way.
- Dig deep with the virtual Disability Awareness Museum
- Download this resource about talking about disabilities
- Watch How Katie Got a Voice
- Watch Listen Up about how disabilities effect children globally and their access to schooling.
- Soul Surfer is a wonderful movie to explore perseverance despite challenge
- Sweet disability clips from our favorite early education resource Sesame Street
- Watch short clips of adaptive sports
- See if you have a therapeutic horse riding location near you could contribute to or visit
- #ChooseKind Wonder Resources
- Listen to Someone Else’s Shoes a musical journey to empathy
- Volunteer with your family through your local Special Olympics Chapter
- When you schedule playdates remember classmates with disabilities.
- Read my friend Lisa’s beautiful article Perfectly Human: One Beautiful Life
- Ask about Peer-to-Peer Support Groups in your school
- Childcare can be difficult for families with a child with special needs consider offering respite care so parents can go out or do a special activity with a sibling
- Watch Don’t Feed the Worry Bug
Follow our About Proximity #TalkJustice Pinterest Board.
#TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. Invite friends! We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.
What have kids taught you about disabilities?