Parents are all over the board when it comes to how they teach their kids about disabilities. Some scold their kids when they ask what’s wrong when a person with a disability
passes by, and other parents are totally cool with letting their kids run around and approach us at will. No two parenting techniques are alike.
But there are a few things that are repeated. From telling their child to always look away or giving them a generic viewpoint of people with disabilities, mistakes on how to talk about us are abound. Since even the most well-meaning parent can accidentally flub up, here are 10 ways to help give your kid a leg up on how to think differently about disabilities.
1) Answering “Why can’t they walk?”
One of the most common questions kids ask when they see someone who uses a wheelchair is this, “Why can’t they walk?” Kids are naturally curious and have no filter, which are without question one of their best and worst qualities. If your child is younger, saying, “They just have an owie,” can be enough.
If they’re older however, just be honest. “I don’t know, baby, but most likely it’s because their nerves,” is all you need to say. My 6-year-old niece is a great example. She’s still too young to understand the concept of a spinal cord injury
, so I just tell her my legs just don’t listen to me anymore, and she understand it completely.
But what’s great is once they fully understand, fear is erased.