23 January 2010

What To Tell Kids

Some parents (including myself) are stumped when their kids ask them: "Why is Vera so small?" or "Why are Vera's eyes so funny?" It is a perfect opportunity to teach kids about disability. But it's easier to sidestep the question and say, "Don't be a busybody."

One mummy however, suggested this answer which I think is absolutely spot on.

"Vera was born with some medical problems (or Trisomy 18), so she looks different from other babies and has learning difficulties. It will take her more time than you to learn to drink and eat. (She had an operation here to help her to grow. This is called a button. It's where the milk goes in.)

Even though she can't talk, move very well (do something), she loves having friends and playing with you. See, you can do this with Vera. She's smiling now. She loves this. She likes you.

Do you like music? Well, Vera likes music too.

If Vera taps her hands, it means she likes the music toy. Can you press the toy to make her smile?

Vera is happy that you played with her because she likes little children and having many friends.

Let's wave or shake hands and say bye-bye.

Vera loves hugging. Do you want to give a goodbye hug?"

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