When children are young it's natural for a child to have an ego centric mindset. They don't realize the diversity and differences there are in the world. Children are to busy learning about their relationships and environment to notice that every person is unique and different in their own way.
As children get older, they start to notice and become observant of the differences and start comparing things and people. For a child with a disability, this can the age that they first realize "hey something is different about me" and begin comparing themselves to their peers and adults around them.
Sometimes it can be really hard to tell a kid, ‘You are perfect the way you are,’ and to build their confidence and self-esteem, BUT then never offer them anything that looks like them. In return this can make them feel alone and they struggle internally with knowing they are "different"
Representation matters. Yes, of course we should ALWAYS teach a child that they are perfect just the way they are, and affirm them. We should praise their unique strengths and abilities, telling them they are loved and have a purpose.
⭐ BUT, when a child is surrounded by someone who looks like them, someone who is relatable, this is eye opening. This offers confidence and growth.
⭐ We should strive for a "balance" of embracing diversity and teaching that having a disability is NOT a bad thing and it does not make you less, BUT we should also strive for inclusion and representation. Surround yourself with a like minded community that will support you and guide you though the adversity.
📸 - @dana.mathewson - Paralympic Olympic Athlete
I'm advocating for you 🤟❤️ - Amy Ader
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