Opening up the discussion about disabilities with children is something most parents wouldn’t think of doing unless a child notices someone with a disability.
There are a whole host of disabilities out there and not all disabilities are visual. According to the World Health Organisation, 15% of the world’s population is disabled. With such a high percentage of individuals, it’s important to talk to children about the visual and non-visual disabilities that are out there.
Parenting in any terms can be difficult, but adding a wheelchair to the mix can add a heap of challenges to the equation. With a lack of information out there offered by professionals on how to care for children from a wheelchair, we have collated personal experiences and tips from parents on online forums to create our own advice on making parenting from a wheelchair a little easier.
Simply imparting knowledge and information about disability is not enough to teach children nowadays. Our world demands that we educate them on other fundamental values in order to work towards achieving a truly accessible and equal society.
Incorporating characters with disabilities into television series, films, toys or children's stories can be a good example of how to normalise disability from a young age. The stories that we have included deal with disability either directly as their central theme or simply by including characters whose disabilities are incidental.
Raising a child is a huge and challenging responsibility. When that child has a physical or intellectual disability the challenges can seem even greater. Children with disabilities may have special educational needs, or require specialist equipment or support. Parents or carers of these children may need additional practical and emotional support to help to cope with their child’s demands.
Getting to know families in similar situations can provide an important support network, enabling parents and carers to share help and advice and to lend an understanding ear when discussing the unique challenges of their situation.
Childhood games are synonymous with activity, development and preparation for adult life. They are a source of self-affirmation, motivation, satisfaction and social interaction. In the case of children with some sort of disability, all these benefits are multiplied, so that the game becomes an occupational area essential for their social, cognitive, sensory, prescriptive, affective and communicative development.