March is Disability Awareness Month.
The question: How do I talk to my kids about understanding differences, specifically children with special needs?
The answer: I have tackled it head on. Discussions of differences come up in a multiracial family; it’s part of our lives. Aside from race, culture, and ethnicity, conversations include talk about special needs. You see, one of my kids has sensory integration disorder and another has learning disabilities. My kids’ needs impact their lives and ours. We talk about ways to handle the behaviors and perceptions outside our home, because it takes all of us working together to keep it together.
Through time and a lot of therapy, we understand the triggers and how to cope at a moment’s notice. I stress that there is nothing wrong with my children; this is part of who they are. All of my kids are aware of and educated, at their age-appropriate level, about the special needs. Proper language, civility, compassion, patience and grace are expected at all times – and nothing less.
Parenting kids with special needs is rewarding, but it takes patience, honesty, and fortitude. The steps may be small and slow, but progress happens. I’m watching my kids blossom and my heart sings with joy over their accomplishments.
Leave me a comment – What do you think? How do you talk to your kids about disabilities and the importance of inclusion?
CVS has programs in place to support kids with disabilities. Check it out – CVS All Kids Can