Monday, March 9, 2009

How I talk to my kids about disability and the importance of inclusion

I'm sure we've all had a moment where our kid said something to embarrass us. For instance we were out grocery shopping late one evening, when the stockers are out replenishing the shelves. On this particular night there was an elderly man working and my daughter just out and asked right there in front of him, "Mommy why is that old man working here?" I so wished we were invisible at that moment. If even she could have not asked loud enough for him to hear I would not have felt so bad. I've taught my children to just refer to the elderly as blessed.

There are many individuals who have disabilities. Some not so obvious and some that are. I've always been the type of person who feels compassionate towards them. It's sometimes hard to approach them because they're so used to people making fun of them and staring at them that you don't know how they'll react to you. In this course of life, i've learned that they don't want you to treat them as handicapped, they want to be treated just as anyone else. They are human and have feelings like us.

I can honestly say that I want my children to feel toward the disabled as I do. I've sat them down and taught them to not make fun of others who look differently. Though they may see others not being nice to them, that doesn't mean that they shouldn't. Smile at them and reach out to them for friendship. They have no control over the way that things are for them and just as any one else, they want to be and to feel loved and cared for.

I would like to take this time to encourage you to visit to learn more about the great programs CVS supports to make life with kids with disabilities easier.