Teaching Children About People with Disabilities

Teaching Children About People with Disabilities

 

 

I’d like to introduce you to Angel, my guest writer for this blog. Angel, who is as sweet as her name, has physical deformities plus other disabilities.  It’s hard enough for people with disabilities but when people stare or say hurtful things about that person, it is so sad. Angel is sharing her message, hoping that parents will teach their children about people with disabilities.  Please share with any one you think may benefit from this message such as teachers, day care workers or other parents.

This is Angel’s message:

Dear Parents, Grandparents and/or Legal Guardians..
Please expose your children to people with disabilities. Physical & mental.. missing limbs like myself or not, other physical deformities, etc.
Please teach them as much as you can and if you don’t know something, research it online or in a book or ask someone who you know with the condition that you are unsure about.
Please teach them that persons with disabilities are not a danger to them or scary or should be made fun of.
Yesterday, we attended the local annual international festival. It was extremely crowded and there were people of all ages, sexes, ethnicities, religions, etc. In the midst of enjoying the festivities around me, I was brought back to reality by the sounds of a screaming 5-7 year-old girl next to me. It startled me and I looked down at her and noticed she had both of her hands covering her eyes. At first I thought maybe she was hurt or throwing a tantrum in public like a lot of children do… until her mother came over and started to pull her hands away from her face saying, “Stop that!! She’s not a monster! She’s not going to hurt you!!” The more she pulled at her hands, the more the little girl screamed. After four attempts, the mother pulled her away from me and I could hear her say, “Don’t ever do that again!!”
Now I’m not here to tell people how to raise their children. I only know that if it were me in that situation, I would have apologized to me and then tried to talk to my daughter and explain that I’m a person, not a monster from a horror movie. I have had similar situations in my life where children would point and stare in public and their parents would smack them. And I don’t like this type of correction. Smacking your child for pointing at a person with a disability does not teach them anything. You can easily correct your child verbally to not point or make fun of anyone, disabled or not. And if the child is seeming to be more curious and confused than being rude and obnoxious.. then take the time to teach them and educate them. Not keep them in the dark and smack them for being curious.
The most positive encounters I have ever had were when I was able to engage in conversation with the children and explain to them myself why I am “different”. In those situations the parents and the children would leave the interaction with knowledge. Honestly, it’s also annoying when a child asks their parent, “why does she not have any arms?” And instead of saying “I don’t know” or “maybe we should ask her”, they tell them that I was in a car accident. Ugh.
Teaching your children about people with disabilities also allows folks like me to grow up with less hate around us. Almost my entire life and school years, I was bullied and teased. I was suicidal more often than anyone probably could ever imagine. Because of what I went through, its pretty much the main reason why I have never and will never attend a high school reunion.
So if you have read all of this… Don’t feel sorry for me. Just do me a favor and help to raise a brighter & more loving generation.

 

Angel is such an inspiration to everyone and doesn’t let her disabilities slow her down. She always wears a smile, loves to sing and has a beautiful voice.

 

Angel lives a fun-filled life with her loving hubby and her two service dogs, one she just acquired. The pup is “in training”, learning from Angel’s master service dog. Just look at the adorable faces!

I hope Angel’s message will help others to realize that people with physical deformities and or disabilities are normal people just like you and me.

Anyone with questions for Angel can reach out to her via Facebook at Angel Heaven Lee  or at angel@keystone-games.com

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Martha Demeo

I started my blog to review products. Since then it has evolved and now I teach people how to earn money online from the comfort of their home. Join the conversation. Leave a comment below.

28 Discussion to this post

  1. Sandy KS says:

    As a child, I was told not to stare or look at someone different. To keep walking. I always wanted to ask questions and talk to the person but was never allowed. I was taught it was rude to ask someone about their disability or deformity. How do you approach someone with a visible disability or deformity to talk them beyond saying hello or waving?

  2. Alexandra says:

    it’s super important to educate children about physical and mental disabilities, so they know to treat everyone equally and aren’t scared of or accidentally rude to people just because they’re different than them. Angel seems like a really nice person and I feel bad for the struggles she’s faced, but she’s a strong woman! and I have to say, her dogs are absolutely adorable! lol

  3. Kandas says:

    Thank you Angel for sharing this story and your tips on turning an uncomfortable parenting moment into a teaching opportunity.

  4. I love this post. I’ve always taught my children to be respectful of those with disabilities, but even more so, it is important for children to actually live it during their school years. I’ve taught them to NEVER let a disabled child sit alone, play alone, etc. Thanks for this post! 🙂

    –Jenny
    http://yeahwesaidthat.com

  5. Lillian says:

    I agree with you 100%. Not feeling sorry, but, empathizing. I’m sorry you went through this Angel. They say the best “revenge” is a life lived well. You are doing that!

    My daughter experiences High functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and I experience mental health issues. So, I can relate, to a degree.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Andria Perry says:

    This is a wonderful message.

  7. A beautiful and powerful message to everyone, including grandparents. When I took care of my 3 grandchildren when they were younger (around 5 y/o twins and brother 7) they had difficulty with anyone whom they saw and had a disability. Exactly like Angel suggests, I had to explain many times to the children and when possible, we talked to the person. Thank you for sharing and for us to pass along to others.

  8. Kevin says:

    This is wonderfully helpful to me, with two young children and although I have not had this situation arise yet I am sure that it will one day, but I was never given any specific ideas how to react to individuals with disabilities just that they are people too, but as a kid I was always unsure whether it would be appropriate or proper to ask questions. 🙂 Now I am armed with a good way to help my two little girls interact should they have questions.

  9. Martha, I have learned that most people with a disability will take the time to explain their disability to child, I personal never ran into someone that had a problem with my son asking them about it.

  10. Martha says:

    Children are always inquisitive and it’s normal for them to look at someone who may be “different” and it’s natural for them to want to ask questions. I think sometimes it’s the adults that don’t quite know how to handle the situation. But yes, most people would rather take the time to explain instead of having the child wondering. Thanks for your insight Brenda!

  11. Martha says:

    Sounds like you did the exact thing that Angel hopes everyone will do Ute. If children are explained things, it makes them much more at ease. Thanks for visiting.

  12. Martha says:

    Yes it is Andria. Hopefully children will learn about disabilities through adults so they will not be scared. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Martha says:

    Thanks for your input Lillian. I hope children and/or adults can learn to treat everyone equal. Hugs to your daughter.

  14. Martha says:

    You are a great parent Jenny! I remember when my now 21 year old granddaughter was in kindergarten, she would always go sit with any classmate that was alone and do the same on the playground. She is such a caring person and even now helps, if even a friendly hello to anyone. Thank you for teaching your children the right way! BTW, I had an aunt and uncle, Jack and Jenny! Thanks for visiting!

  15. Martha says:

    I’m hoping that Angel’s message will help others to teach young ones that they don’t need to be afraid. Thanks for stopping by Kandas.

  16. Martha says:

    You have always been so wise beyond your years Alexandra. Why did I know you would say something about Angel’s dogs. LOL They are both beautiful and the pup is so precious. Thanks for visiting!

  17. Martha says:

    I think back in our days, that seemed to be the “norm” Sandy. I’m so glad it has changed so children will feel more comfortable and be able to ask a person questions. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Martha says:

    I’m so glad this message was helpful to you Kevin and if and when the situation arises with your children, you now have first hand advice from someone who can give excellent advice. Thanks for visiting!

  19. Abe Liandro says:

    Very good article and a great message to send to not only kids but everyone!

  20. Martha says:

    Thanks Abe and you are so right, sometimes adults need to head this message. Thanks for visiting!

  21. Swadhin Agrawal says:

    Great post Martha!

    Children with disabilities are actually the ones who are just differently abled. Its a tough time for both parents and children to cope with it but I am sure your methods will help them ease out.
    -Swadhin

  22. This post is wonderful. I come from an ex-soviet country, where, until 10-15 years ago, people with disabilities had no right. Children would not be allowed to go to school, and they would not be considered “humans” at all. I used to work for an NGO who did its best to change the situation, and I can proudly say that today we are way better at this chapter.
    Angel’s message is so motivating. Thank you!

  23. Neil Copping says:

    Nice article Martha, Glad to see someone tackling this issue. You are doing a great job at promoting diversity and dispelling fears around people with disabilities. Very inspirational!

  24. Martha says:

    Thanks Neil, if this helps only a handful of people, it will be a good start.

  25. Martha says:

    That is so sad Corina for children to be treated that way. I’m so glad the situation changed and hopefully all children will now be treated equal. Thank you for visiting!

  26. Martha says:

    It would be great if one day, every child or adult with a disability would be treated as all others, just people! Thanks for stopping by.

  27. I pray that God blesses Angel to stay strong and always live a happy and healthy life. Thanks for sharing her story on your blog! Very touching!

  28. Martha says:

    Thanks for the kind words J. Shan’Trice. Angel always wears a smile, no matter what she’s feeling inside. Thanks for visiting!

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