So my DD is always saying what I deem as inappropriate things when it comes to pointing out how people are 'different'. I know it is just her age and I do try to help her understand that it is impolite to point it out infront of people.....but Im really unsure how to handle it when it comes to children with special needs.
As parents of special needs children, do you get angry when you see children whispering to their mums/dads and looking at your child? Would you prefer that we shushed them up and walked away, or came up and asked questions so they could get a better understanding and therefor wouldnt think they were so 'different'..(I hate that word).
What would you like to say to the mum so they could better inform their child? Or do you wish we'd all just leave you alone to shop...?
Sorry if this is an inappropriate thread....im just really wanting to know the best way to handle this.
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04-03-2012 17:39 #1-
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
What would you prefer, to have questions asked or not?
05-03-2012 14:18 #2
my boys probs are invisible, so theres nothing that lets anyone know theres an actual prob with them. most people assume they are just weird and naughty
we get stares with my little one when he has his meltdowns when we are out. but not by other kids, by adults. if little kids were staring, or looking and then talking to their parents, i probably wouldnt care, but when i see adults staring and whispering, it really ticks me off.
also, my boys dont think there is anything wrong with them. the older one has no idea he isnt like all of his peers, so if someone came up and questioned him "why do u always jump?" etc then i think it would have a negative effect on him.
its a tough one. i'd just try to explain that EVERYONE is different, and there is nothing 'wrong' with anything, and then try and also lead by example, point out a regular kid with nice hair and say "she has pretty hair doesnt she" or a boy who has nice bright shoes...start getting her to notice the regular things too maybe?
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06-03-2012 06:57 #3
For me, my daughter has Down syndrome, so looks a bit different, as well as acting differently. So I think that makes it easier for adults to understand, but kids, while they would see that she looks different, wouldn't know from looking at her that she has a disability.
On the whole I would prefer that people ask because I think that if I can demistify Ds by talking to people about it, and letting them see what my girl, and other people can do, her life will be easier.
But having said that, you have to be pretty careful about how you ask. When my girl moved up to the 2&3yo room in child care and wasn't walking yet, several of the kids said "why can't she walk?", which is a totally valid question from a 3yo, but if an adult had phrased it like that, I think it would have sounded a bit rude. But if an adult said to me "oh, she's not walking?", I would have no problem with that, and would just explain why.
So I guess that was a long-winded way of saying that my vote is yes, ask the question, but be sensitive.
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06-03-2012 09:44 #4
My daughter has Cerebral Palsy and is regularly in her wheelchair and often kids come up to me or her and ask why she needs to be in it. I love when they ask, it's so much better for them to know the truth than to surmise why she's in it.
It depends on the age of the child asking as to the depth of the answer we give, for the little ones it's just, 'Her muscles don't work properly and she can't walk like you.' and for the older ones we add that she has Cerebral Palsy and that her muscles don't work properly.
I love that kids are so accpeting of this answer, they then usually move on to how cool her wheelchair is (it's pink).
I find it's more the parents that are afraid to approach you with these questions and try to sush the kids up, but shushing them is only going to keep disabilities in the dark ages.
Sadly though there are a few parents out there that do take offence and get angry when kids stare at their kids... but not me or Leacie, kids are curious, they don't mean to offend.... we usually smile and wave.
06-03-2012 11:49 #5
When dd was about 3 or 4 I pulled her back in a shop and said we will wait for this man to go past first. As the man in a wheel chair went past she asked him where he left his legs. I was stunned, ebarassed, felt all those things anyone would feel, but he stopped, gave her a smile and told her he was in a car accident and when the people who helped pulled him out, the car kept his legs. He then told me he had kids around that age and told me she is a sweet girl who wants to know things. I found with exposure through books that she stopped asking me or others about it in public and simply accepted things are the way they are in this world.
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