Home > Kids > Values and Responsibilities > Instilling Values > 6 Tips to Talk to Your Kids About Disabilities

Slideshow Iconslideshows MORE

|

6 Tips to Talk to Your Kids About Disabilities

by Lindsay Hutton

Whether it's a classmate who is on the autism spectrum or a loved one with muscular dystrophy, your child probably has someone in her life with a disability that she might have questions about. No matter what the situation, it's important to be prepared and to address your child's curiosity about disabilities as openly and honestly as you can. The following tips can help you be prepared to talk to your child about people with disabilities when she comes to you for answers.

Previous
1 of 7
Young happy boy in wheelchair

It's OK to Notice


Kids, especially young ones, are naturally curious, so when they see someone with a disability, their first instinct is to ask about it. If you see your child staring at someone with a disability, take the lead and start a conversation, but avoid a detailed explanation or a lot of emotion when explaining it. A short and matter-of-fact description will answer your child's questions while showing her that the person has nothing to be ashamed of.

For example, if you see a child with muscular dystrophy in a wheelchair, you can say to your child, "I see you looking at that little girl in the wheelchair, and you might be wondering why she needs it. Some people's muscles work a little differently, and her wheelchair helps her move around, just like your legs help you."

Try to keep your explanations positive. For example, explain that hearing aids help others hear and wheelchairs help others move around, instead of using a negative connotation (he can't hear, she can't walk, etc.)

Next: Use Respectful Terminology

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Offer a genuine "thank you" to your child's teacher halfway through the school year. Give one of these extra-nice holiday gifts for teachers.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!