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Teaching Children about Diversity
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Teaching Children about Diversity

We have all witnessed the impact a child can make when he or she learns about diversity and how to make an impact on his or her world from a young age. Many of these children grow up and become active in community service, give back and pay it forward. Teaching children about disabilities from a young age is no different.

Many of us with disabilities know that children are quick to make observations about their environment when they notice something is “different.” It’s our responsibility as adults to show children that “different” can be positive! Rather than feeling embarrassed or not knowing how to answer a child when they ask questions about someone with a disability, begin integrating diversity learning at a young age to help diversity become a norm for your child.

Education starts at home and helping children learn about diversity can take on many forms, whether it’s reading a book together addressing differences, integrating able bodied and disabled children together in classrooms or helping your child make friends and approach children of different abilities on the playground. There are many books and resources to help children understand how differences make us unique. Searching Amazon.com for “Books about Kids with Disabilities” returns over 489 results ranging from teaching kids about ADHD, development disabilities, blindness, autism and relating to other children who use wheelchairs or other mobility equipment, among many other topics!

There are even books for children with mobility issues and disabilities to help them learn about the positive aspects of their differences. Check out The Lost Puppy by Kate Gaynor.

Siblings of children with disabilities often need extra special attention or help understanding their unique family situation and how they can be a great brother or sister to their sibling. Books like The Sibling Slam Book: What It’s Really Like to Have a Brother or Sister with Special Needs by Don Meyer (recommended for teenagers) reflects the conflict and range of emotions many siblings of children with disabilities experience.

You can even find work books and other resources with tacticle activities to help children learn about disability through activities and hands-on learning. Check out Kid in a Wheelchair WorkBook: Teaching children about others with disabilities by Michael Basso which is designed for kids and their families.

Remember, when children learn that different is okay, they learn that diversity is a gift! Give a child the gift of learning today!

 

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

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