At Close to Home Childcare Center and Preschool we take the time to discuss and celebrate our differences. We encourage parents to discuss this at home as well. Children recognize differences, thus discussing it at daycare and home helps them feel comfortable and inviting to children with a disability. We do this by focusing on the shared similarities rather than the differences, so children recognize the similarities first when meeting another child with a disability. Sharing and discussing also makes it so much easier for children to interact and be inclusive of those with disabilities.
Kids that have discussions ahead of time avoid making parents embarrassed in a public place. Yet, if this happens there is need to talk respectfully and openly so the child will be more inclusive and understand differences in the future. Discussing this at an early age makes it easier for the child to understand we are all different and that a disability is not bad. Uncontrollable behavioral differences are the most difficult to explain. Yet, discussing this at home helps when a child does experience another child having an uncontrollable outburst or talking loudly or having uncontrollable body movements.
Explaining that our bodies can work differently for people and that some disabilities we can see like a wheelchair, but others are inside like Autism. We like to explain to children in the classroom that there are some disabilities that are born within a baby and others are the result of an illness or accident. Children are very observant and notice things much faster than we sometimes give them credit. Therefore, it is so important to take the time to discuss disabilities. A good place to start is going to the library and finding children books on discussing disabilities and make it so much easier for children to understand because they can see the images. Additionally, these books can open a for a great deal of discussion of disabilities.