Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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As adults, we are accustomed to seeing people who are distinctly different physically or mentally. We know that many people who are in wheelchairs, carry canes, or who have major physical distinctions are living active, busy lives. We forget that there is a first time for every child to consciously say or think something like: “That person is very different from me or my parents. Something is not the way it is supposed to be. What has caused that person to be unable to walk, speak, see, etc.?” This first realization by a child that someone is distinctly different from himself can be rather unsettling, especially since handicaps are many and varied. Your child may have fears that need to be calmed. Some fears may result in bad dreams. A young child had a recurring dream that a man with a disfigured hand was chasing him. Upon investigation, it was found that the child had seen a man with a crippled hand and arm. This child was afraid that he would catch whatever the man had and that his own hand would also become crippled. What can you do to help your child respond appropriately to people with handicaps?

• Do not minimize your child’s fears or laugh at what he expresses. Answer all questions as openly and honestly as you can. Explain to your child that a person with a physical or mental disability is not that way for punishment. Assure your child that a person’s challenging condition is not contagious.

• Help your child understand that a person in a wheelchair or with a prosthetic device has the same kind of feelings she does. Handicapped people want our respect, not our pity.

• Avoid labeling people like “the blind man”, “the crippled girl”, “the Down’s child”.

• Explain that people with special needs have the ability to function and the potential to achieve in some area of their lives and that they have value. They are not less or more than anyone else.

• Realize that to a child it may the apparatus upon which that person must depend that is most frightening. Allow your child to experiment with a wheel chair or crutches if the opportunity presents itself.

• When referring to the disabled, use positive terms such as “special needs” and “mentally challenged”. If you can anticipate that your child is going to be associating with someone who has special needs, the experience will be easier if you can inform her ahead of time.

Most children are very compassionate when the situation is explained to them. Once their questions are answered, they become very matter-of-fact about a disability. With the proper preparation, children quickly learn what the handicapped child can and cannot do. They learn that such a child often only requires more time or a different method to accomplish the same activity as his peers. Young children readily receive a disabled child as “just another friend”. Parents and teachers just set the pace.