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Tue Feb 16, 2021, 02:54 PM

Children understand about special needs.

Last edited Mon Feb 22, 2021, 01:46 PM - Edit history (2)

My daughter (KK) and her friend (Austin) were about 7 years old and living the summer of 2006 playing all over the house and the neighborhood.
We were living on Ft. Benning, GA and most of my neighbors were with me in Iraq and had just returned from deployment. My daughter KK and Austin were the best of friends, another couple had a Down Syndrome teenager, named Sami, that was able to communicated with some ASL, no vocal abilities to express herself but never the less she would play with all the kids. She had an open invitation to all the houses in the neighborhood as she didn't understand they belonged to different families.
One summer afternoon, KK and Austin were in the Livingroom wanting to watch either Sponge Bob or Barnie The Purple Dinosaur. I was just watching the interaction between these two children as it was entertaining. The argument about what to watch escalated to pushing and then to blows, I was about to stop them from beating each other up when the door open and Sami walked in and sat in front of the TV.
Both children, KK and Austin, looked at each other and picked up the Scooby Doo VHS tape (Sami's favorite cartoon), without a word, Austin put the VHS tape in the VCR, both went to the kitchen, made snacks for all three of them, juice and chips with PB&J sandwiches, went back to the Livingroom and sat down to watch Scooby Doo. Sami finished her juice and with her hands indicated to KK that she wanted another one. KK went to the kitchen and got another juice and brought it to Sami.
Both seven year old kids knew that Sami had some limitations and needed special care. I went to the living room to join them and got a snack from the tray the kids have brought for Sami and I was reminded that those snacks were for Sami and if I wanted some I should get my own.

I just wanted to share this short story with you.

Thank you.

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Reply Children understand about special needs. (Original post)
podex101 Feb 2021 OP
captain queeg Feb 2021 #1
FM123 Feb 2021 #2
FailureToCommunicate Feb 2021 #3
demigoddess Feb 2021 #4

Response to podex101 (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 03:01 PM

1. My son was in a daycare in the same building where I worked

I used to go down at lunch and just watch him interact with the other kids. If he never noticed me sometimes I just went back to work without talking to him. I was upset about him being in daycare of first, but he loved it and has always been way more sociable than I ever was.

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Response to podex101 (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 03:20 PM

2. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

It always touches me deeply how young children often understand about things better than we give them credit for. I have a family member with autism - I remember when she was little and how tenderly some of the neighborhood children played with her even when she was unaware of their extra generous heaps of kindness and accommodation. Long story short, she grew up and has overcome many of her challenges to live her best life - but it took not only a village but all the tender-hearted children in that village to get there.

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Response to podex101 (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 03:41 PM

3. Such a nice remembrance. And, kids can also learn to be tolerant of others who aren't.

Growing up with a disabled father, my brothers and I often witnessed other kids, and adults, reacting in an unenlightened way.

We'd ignore it, or sometimes turn the comment on it's head. It might go like this: Kid: "Wow, you dad is driving the car with his foot?!?" Me: Yup, don't you wish your dad could do that?

But, yes, kids can be extra aware and caring. When you see your own kids being empathetic, it does fill you with pride.

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Response to podex101 (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 04:47 PM

4. I have a handicapped daughter and have seen things like this from my sons' friends.

thought it was a local thing. Kids here were apparently taught in school about handicaps and I thought that was it. Kids showed their best when around my daughter and I was so proud of those kids!! They always appreciated her abilities. I remember a boy playing cars with my son, my daughter went in and took one of the cars and did what they did. He came to me and said, "She plays with cars!". So happy for her! Later they went downstairs and played on a bigger floor. He said "She goes down stairs!!". My daughter will never learn to walk but she can go up and down stairs!!!!

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