Mum shares letter to classmates explaining how to treat someone you meet that might be a bit different to you.
This mum wants people to know, while some families might be shy about their child’s diagnosis or feel it’s no ones business… Others feel being open helps with acceptance and helps children see that disabilities are normal and not something that shouldn’t be talked about.
Not only that… it is easy to forget that kids have such wild imaginations, and often if you don’t tell them what is actually going on they will imagine some weird and wonderful (possibly frightening) scenario themselves.
This is why she likes to be open from day one and hopes that it will help everyone be more accepting and inclusive of her daughter.
The Melbourne mum of five wrote a letter to fellow classmates and their families to help them with any questions they might have about her young daughter who has Cerebral Palsy.
Her letter reads….
We’d like to introduce ourselves, our daughter is in your child’s class this year. Your child may come home with questions about Miss A and we thought we would send this letter out to help explain a few things.
Miss A has Cerebral Palsy or CP for short, she was born with this disorder, and it is not contagious. Somewhere along the way during pregnancy something happened to the part of her brain that controls movement so now her muscles are very stiff and she can’t control them very well.
Miss A uses a wheelchair, walking frames and a few other special items to help her with her daily activities. She wears AFO’s (ankle foot orthosis) on her legs to keep her feet straight and ankles strong. She can walk using a frame and she can crawl on the floor. Her speech is clear, although she is a bit quiet and hard to hear in noisy situations.
But she is just like any other little girl, she loves to sing and dance (in her own way), she LOVES Dora the Explorer and playing all sorts of imaginative games. She can draw, paint, colour-in and do all the same crafts and things other little girls her age do. Playing in the sandpit and other outdoor games she also loves but she just needs a bit of help sometimes or take a bit more time than other kids.
Miss A also has a wicked sense of humour and is happy and outgoing. She loves parties and celebrations, so please feel fee to invite her to these as even though she can’t do some things by herself, my husband or I would stay with her and help her have great fun.
Please don’t feel embarrassed if your child stares or is curious, just tell them to go talk to her, ask her questions. Miss A will tell them plainly that her muscles don’t work properly, and most children are happy with this answer. Many kids think her wheelchair is cool and want to check it out.
We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have (there’s no such thing as a silly question), so please feel free to approach or contact us on _________.
Look forward to seeing you around.
L & J
We are sharing this story in the hope that we too can help encourage families to speak to their children more openly about diversity and inclusion. If major companies like Target and Kmart can embrace inclusion in their campaigns, then I am certain we as parents can do our part as well.
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- Kmart is doing what other retailers SHOULD do with their catalogues
- Mum fights back after her son was rejected from a clothing ad
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