Seattle Children’s Hospital encourages parents to talk to children about “individual differences and respect. Your response will shape your child's future attitudes and actions toward people who live with ongoing health conditions or disabilities.” Their ideas include giving brief, direct answers to preschool-age children, sharing more facts with older kids, and always using “people-first” language. “It's more respectful to say that a person has a disability, rather than that a person is disabled. This way, the disability or illness is just one part of that person and not the defining feature.”
Disabled World reinforces this advice, saying, “Childhood is perhaps the best time to create an understanding of the fact that people with disabilities need to be perceived as people first.” Along with many helpful tips on talking to your kids, Disabled World includes a list of books for kids that parents can use to explain differences.
We hope you enjoy this opportunity to share with your child as you both learn more about all the different, amazing types of people that make up our world. You might also enjoy this article: Fun Outings in Seattle For Children of All Abilities