Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All about Disabilities

Each day after I pick up C and we make our way to get A, we see school buses.  Those with white tops are her school buses from her school (according to C).  So today, she wants to know if she can ride a bus home from her school.  I said no, she doesn't take the bus but that when she starts in Kindergarten, she would take buses on field trips.  This incensed her!  She wanted to take a bus right now!!!  I explained to her that at her school only some kids got to take a bus.  She wanted to know why so I explained that some kids have a disability and some don't but that those that do take a bus home or to another daycare center sometimes. 

So, here is how our conversation went:

Me: C, kids with disabilities take buses at your school.  BUT, at kindergarten, everyone can take a bus on field trips.
C: Mom, can you give me a disability?
Me: No honey, I can't give you a disability (although, her father might disagree and suggest that I gave A a "disability", but I digress :))
C: Why not?  How does someone get a disability?
Me:  Most people are born with disabilities and some people get them when they get really hurt.
C:  What is a disability?
Me:  It is when someone has a hard time doing something that others can do easier  (hard to explain this to a small kid in language that they understand while still being compassionate to the person with a disability).  So, for example, XYZ is in a wheelchair and so she has a harder time walking than others and so she has a disability with her legs. 
C: Who else has disabilities?
Me:  Well, A has a disability
C:  Why? 
Me: When he was your age, he couldn't talk very well so people understood him.  And, he has a disability with his muscles because they aren't as strong as they should be.  This is why it is harder for him to write.  And, you know how sometimes he does things that really bother you, like crashing into you?  It is because he has a hard time controlling his body.
C:  What do I have for a disability?
Me: You don't have one.
C: It's not fair mom!  I want a disability.  (Crying starts).  Can I please have one?  Please mom?
Me: Honey, I can't give you a disability.  Remember, people are born with it or sometimes they get really, really hurt and that causes a disability.
C:  Please!!!  I WANT A DISABILITY!!!!
Me: I'll see what I can do (no other way to end this conversation!)

We also drive past a McDonald's on our way to our farm and to Target and we don't go there because they don't give people with disabilities jobs and are rude about it.  The kids know this and ask about it each and every time we drive by, which is A LOT!.  Now, we also do the Nurtured Heart Approach.  So, I had to combine both ideas tonight to explain about why we don't go there.  I told them that the McDonald's was in a reset, but was refusing to serve it and until they did, we would ignore them by not spending our money there.  A is very concerned that they will stay in a reset forever.  I told them that uncle J would let us know when they served their reset because he keeps track of those kinds of things.

So, if you see my kids out and about, the topic of disability is big on their minds right now and C might ask you to give her one!


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