Talking to your child about special needs

  Niece: Auntie, what do you do for work?

  Me: I work with kids who have special needs.

Niece: Why are they special?

Me: ....

This is a short snippet of a conversation that took place between my niece and I while driving to the store. It’s often that I get asked by adults what I do for a living, but  when my niece asked I pause to take the time to explain the importance and acceptance of others not like her.

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Here’s five things to keep in mind the next time you talk to your child about people with special needs

1. Address your child curiosity  . 

It’s okay for kids to ask questions. Take the lead and start the dialogue to bring awareness and acceptance in others not like them.

2. Kids with special needs are different and that’s not a bad thing.

3. Each and every person living is unique  and one of a kind.

Separate  the disability from the individual to help your child understand that those with special needs are still the same.

4. Be careful with your words.

Kids listen and absorb everything they see and hear. When talking about others with special needs, remember your choice of terminology. Choose your words wisely and stay away from derogatory words.

5. Find additional resources.

Do your research and get the proper support. There’s several children’s book to help explain disabilities to your child.

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How you response will affect the way your child thinks about disabilities and treat others as the grow up.  Model acceptance and inclusion.