‘Fear Of Getting It Wrong’ Keeps Parents From Talking To Their Kids About Disability

A child’s disability should be discussed with them along with their race, gender, and sexual orientation, as these are all aspects of diversity. However, many parents avoid discussing disabilities with their children because they fear getting them wrong. They worry they might say a bad thing, offend someone, or cause their children to feel uncomfortable. This reluctance to discuss disability can create a culture of ignorance and prejudice, making it harder for people with disabilities to feel included in society.

Here are some tips on how to start a conversation about disability with your children:

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Normalize Disability

Teach your children that disability is a natural part of human diversity. Just like some people have brown eyes, and others have blue eyes, some people have disabilities, and others do not. Show them that disability does not define a person but is one aspect of their identity.

Encourage Questions

Children are naturally curious and will have questions about disability. Ensure that they ask questions and respond honestly to them. If you don’t know the answer, tell them you will find out together.

Use Respectful Language

Teach your children to use respectful language when discussing disability. Avoid using derogatory terms, such as “retarded,” “crippled,” or “handicapped.” Instead, use person-first language, such as “a person with a disability” or “a person who uses a wheelchair.”

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Focus On Abilities

When discussing disability, focus on what a person can do, not what they can’t do. Show your children that people with disabilities can lead fulfilling lives and make valuable contributions to society.

Be Inclusive

Involve your children in activities that benefit people with disabilities. Teach them to be kind and respectful to everyone, regardless of their abilities.

A more inclusive and accepting society requires parents to talk to their children about disabilities. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start the conversation. Following these tips can help your children understand and respect people with disabilities and teach them to embrace diversity.