We hear so many negative stories about the way kids with disabilities are excluded, or somehow treated as different. And I just wanted to acknowledge what a very positive experience we’ve had at primary school.
My son is in first class, and he’s profoundly deaf. He wears cochlear implants, so has access to sound. His speech and communication are excellent, but the simple fact is that sometimes he has problems – he doesn’t always hear things correctly, or at all. And when your classmates are 6 or 7 years old, they’re not always very sensitive or aware of this.
And I have had a number of parents approach me, and ask a simple question: “What should I tell my child, so they’ll better understand when your son doesn’t hear, and maybe says something that sounds weird as a result?”
That means so much to me, because if the other kids understand better then it’ll help my son make friends. Which is so important to all parents. I really appreciate that so many parents have been so upfront about simply asking how they can help, by helping their children. It’s really hard for kids of that age to grasp that if he says something odd, it probably means he didn’t hear them properly (and so might be answering a different question than the one they asked). Some guidance from their parents will probably go a long way.
So I guess I’m saying thank you to those parents. And to other people who are hesitating, there are a lot of parents like me who wouldn’t be offended at all by a direct question – they might even welcome it.
Posted by BellaB, 21st August 2014