Disability In The Eyes Of A Child
Children who have any disability grow up learning that there are many different levels of "norms" in our society. Disabled children understand that although they face unique challenges, they are still living their lives the only way they know how to, and that is normal to them. This, however, is unusual to a child who is not at all familiar with someone with a disability, and that's also perfectly normal. Naturally, all people only know what we have been exposed to throughout our lives, so it is fair for all of us to understand that certain aspects of our lives can be foreign for others, and vice versa. We also have to remember whether we are disabled or not, that children are also very curious of the world around them. I have encountered many children throughout my life, who have seen me either in a wheelchair, on crutches, or on a walker, and to this day, I am always asked one of two questions - "What happened?" or "Are you OK?" Children who ask these questions are simply just curious, and again, that is perfectly fine! Children also have short attention spans, so once you find a way to answer the question. in a way that the child will understand, they will be content, and even develop a better understanding of the world and people around them. Now, there is one more scenario regarding children and disabilities that we must include. I am talking about the children who have family members who are disabled. This is a special situation because, although the child does not know what it is like to live the way their relative does, they are aware that there are people in the world like that relative, and not only are they also curious, but they also develop a side to them that wants to help that person in any way they can, because of the love they have for that person. My cousins for example, are perfect examples of this. At only eight, ten, and eleven years old, If there is something I need help with, because of my limitations, they are always willing to lend a helping hand, and even take immediate control of the situation, but they also understand that I am a person, just like them, and they love me unconditionally, and treat me just like they would treat their other cousins...except for when they make me feel special with the joy rides that they like to take me on, in my wheelchair, LOL! So, next time your child wants to look, ask questions, and even help someone with a disability, please let them! You as parents live to teach your kids about the ways of the world, but you will also be amazed at what they have to teach you!