Question: How to talk to your child about a classmate who has an LD or Special Needs. What do we say as parents...
Answer: Children are naturally curious about others. When your child interacts, notices or asks questions about a person who learns, behaves or is visibly different than they are, it is an opportunity for you to talk about individual differences and respect. It’s OK to acknowledge differences. Your child may have a classmate with a disability such as a child using a walker or a hearing device. Your child may notice differences like those associated with learning or behavior. When your child begins to ask questions, answer those questions with facts, and be honest when you don't know the answer..
Choose language that focuses on individuals - not their disabilities, learning or behavioural differences. Using words that describe a person and not their disability or difference reminds children that it is only one part of the person. It may be helpful to use statements such as: "a child who is blind" rather than "a blind child,” Some kids have a more difficult time regulating their emotions than others; some people learn differently than others. Address name calling and jokes as when you hear them. Calling someone a bully, mean, crazy or dumb because they behave, learn or look different from us is not ok.