Helping Your Child Understand and Accept Disabilities
Whether it’s a disability that your child has or something different that they’ve noticed with some children at school, it’s a good idea to educate your child on disabilities and help them accept it as a natural part of life.
Parents are responsible for engaging these questions and helping their children understand more about the world, but one such area that your children might have a little trouble understanding is disability.
Children are incredibly curious little creatures. Once they start to learn how to speak, they’ll constantly ask questions and query things that they see.
The importance of teaching your child about disabilities
Perhaps your child has seen a disabled carer at a relative’s house. Maybe they’ve seen a child at school that uses some kind of mobility or learning aid. These are very common sights for children and it tends to raise a few questions about what’s going on.
When you educate children about disabilities, there are a couple of important things that you should keep in mind.
- Teach your child that some people are just born with disabilities. Make it clear that some babies grow up with disabilities, but also explain that some people develop disabilities–often due to circumstances that they couldn’t control.
- It’s extremely important that you teach them that disabilities aren’t a sickness. Explain that it’s not something they can “catch” from others. That people with disabilities should be treated no differently than people without them.
- It’s also a good idea to normalize seeing and interacting with those who have disabilities. They should never develop a negative association with others that have disabilities. They shouldn’t see people with disabilities as having something wrong with them.
- Explain that physical and cognitive disabilities are different. They are separate and it doesn’t mean that someone with a physical disability has a mental disability or vice versa.
“It also teaches them to understand and accept things that are outside of their control.”
It can be challenging to raise your child to be an ally to other communities such as those with disabilities. However, it can give our child a much wider world view and help them accept things for what they are, instead of having a negative attitude towards people with disabilities.
It helps to make them a more responsible adult in the future, and it prepares them for various challenges in life where they may need to work together with disabled people.
It also teaches them to understand and accept things that are outside of their control. This is an important lesson to learn before they become an adult because it helps them go along with the ebb and flow of life, instead of being held back by something that was outside of their control. It can be hard to teach a child these important life lessons.
In fact, there are many adults that have difficulty accepting and treating those with disabilities with respect. It’s something that helps your child mature. It can also be a huge benefit to the rest of their life if you educate your child on disabilities from a younger age.