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How to talk to a child about disability 2018
Children who are not confronted with people with disabilities in the family or in the immediate surroundings are of interest to people who are somewhat different from them. Children 2-3 years may not notice signs of illness until someone indicates them or if these signs are not very obvious (for example, a person moves on crutches or a wheelchair, wearing dark glasses and a white stick).
At the age of four, children notice when people eat, talk or behave differently than others. Their reaction may be different: they can look at such a person, ask her a question, or even worry about whether they will not become like that themselves.
The response of parents to the behavior of the child in such cases depends on how she behaves towards people with disabilities in the future. Parents can feel annoyed or embarrassed when a child points to a person in a wheelchair and asks:
"Why is he sitting in an armchair on wheels?"
"Why does he talk so strangely?"
"Why does he look like that?"
"Why are these women so hands moving?";
"Why does he walk like that?"
"What happened to this man?"
How do parents behave in such situations? Here are some tips.
Talk with your child on this topic. If a child saw a person with a disability, this could be a good opportunity to talk about differences between people. Use simple words and phrases in a conversation. For example, say that a woman talks in sign language because she does not hear, or a man uses a white stick or guide dog because he is blind.
Let the child show curiosity. The child should be able to freely share your thoughts with you. Do not regret the time to discuss this topic. Young children especially love to ask parents a lot of questions. Parents should encourage the child's curiosity and at the same time teach her tact.
If the child wants to know more, ask her to read books that explain the differences between people. Books should correspond to the child's age.
Many children's television shows also show characters with disabilities. If possible, you can allow the child to sit in a wheelchair - it will satisfy her curiosity.
Explain simply and according to the child's age. Try to look at the situation from the point of view of the child. Children can not concentrate their attention for a long time, and therefore do not accept long and complicated answers. Explain honestly, but do not go into unnecessary details. Explain things simply so your child could understand you. An explanation for a little child: "Perhaps her legs do not work as well as yours." The younger student can say: "He can move in a wheelchair for various reasons. Maybe he was born this way or got into an accident. " If you do not know the answer to the question, say so.
Speak in essence. Avoid unnecessary emotions. This will help the child to take disability as part of life. Allocate the things that exist between the child and people with disabilities. Avoid incorrect words such as "people with disabilities", "underdeveloped", "crippled", etc.
Be careful what the child says. Pay attention to all the anxieties and fears she is talking about. Children are often frightened by the unknown.
Be positive in communication. Disability is often associated with negative emotions, such as sadness or pity. Teach your child to see positive sides in a person with disabilities (for example, a person in a fun t-shirt or a person with a good sense of humor). Tell the child about a disability in a positive way, for example, explain how a wheelchair helps to cope with everyday affairs.
Instill a child's respect for people with disabilities. If the child considers such people to be inferior or says that they are talking funny or walking, correct it. Explain that such words may offend a person.
Make sure that the child understands that people with physical disabilities are no different from others in their mental health.
Show a positive example. Children clearly notice discomfort, confusion and negative attitudes towards others. Young children are also negatively affected by what they read in books or see on TV. Encourage your child to share their experiences, discuss with them what they have read and seen. Use phrases such as "What do you think about ...?" Develop the child's sensitivity, explain to her the differences between people.
Sometimes children want to chat with people with disabilities directly. In this case, you can turn to the person: "My son is interested in why you are moving in a wheelchair. Could you explain him? "Of course, some people do not want to talk about this topic, but some are willing to contact.
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