When speaking with children about disability, Debra says to expect the unexpected


I have a visible incapacity — achondroplasia dwarfism. I learnt from a younger age that I can attract responses from young children these types of as stares, glances, factors, smirks and laughter, but also awesome smiles.

Small children can surprise us with how commonly they take and accommodate their knowing of differences. My child’s initially calendar year at university is an case in point.

My daughter and I share the similar bodily condition, so I was conscious of becoming a product for her in controlling conditions and peoples’ reactions, but also in performing as a “buffer” to the wider world.

I approached the start off of her faculty lifestyle with trepidation.

Debra states the questions college students asked had been all very practical — and respectful.(Supplied: Debra Keenahan)

How would she manage the school grounds? How would her classmates react to her difference? How would she be addressed?

All mother and father have equivalent worries for their youngster regardless of no matter if their baby has a disability or not, but expertise taught me getting appreciably bodily unique intended a new condition with new people was specifically fraught with choices for damaging reactions.

To ease my daughter’s transition, I made available to discuss with her course about our physical distinction but her lecturers have been assured there would not be a issue.

Observing my kid’s conduct in people early times, she did not screen distress or wish to stay clear of school — excellent indicators of her integration — but a few weeks into the 1st term the lecturers questioned if they could acknowledge my present to speak, but to the complete faculty, not just her class.

There experienced been a bombardment of concerns. The most relating to was: “Are they leprechauns?”

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