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Special Talk, Special Needs

It’s Autism Awareness Month, let’s talk about it!

Basic ideas to share with your child

  • No two people are the same — some differences are just more noticeable.
  • A disability is only one characteristic of a person. People have many facets: likes and dislikes, strengths and challenges.
  • Children with disabilities are like all children in that they want friends, respect and to be included.
  • Children can be born disabled or become disabled from an accident or illness. You can’t “catch” a disability from someone else.
  • Just because someone has a physical disability (when a part or parts of the body do not work well) does not mean they necessarily have a cognitive (or thinking) disability.
  • Children with disabilities can do many of the things your child does, but it might take them longer. They may need assistance or adaptive equipment to help them.

Try to use clear, respectful language when talking about someone with disabilities. For a younger child, keep explanations simple, such as, “She uses a wheelchair because a part of her body does not work as well as it could.”

Reinforce with your child that name calling — even if meant as a joke — is always unacceptable as it hurts people’s feelings. (Source)

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