How to Introduce your Child to someone with Special needs

It can be difficult to introduce your child to someone with special needs.  Your child might not be used to dealing with people who are different and might be afraid of them or uncomfortable around them.  They may just not understand how to deal with them and have misconceptions about what it means that the person is special needs.  It is important that you teach your child how to act around those with special needs from a young age so that they act appropriately and do not inadvertently hurt someone else.  The following are some tips for how to introduce your child to someone with special needs.

First you will want to have a discussion with your child before the introduction.  Explain that some people have special needs and it does not mean anything bad, nor is it anyone’s fault.  Explain that some people are just different and that it is okay that people are different.  You may want to explain how the person will be different, again emphasizing that it is not bad and that there is no reason for your child to be afraid of him or her.  You will also want to explain how to act around someone is special needs – how they might be able to be a good person by being helpful, and that oftentimes the best thing is to treat the person like there is nothing different about them at all.  Tell them about how meeting this person will be a positive thing and that there are many positive things about this person.  You also may want to tell the children that they shouldn’t do things that could be hurtful to the person and that they should never ever make fun of someone who is special needs.  Also explain that some things can be embarrassing and that a person might not want to talk about their special needs.

When you are introducing the child, do not make a big deal of any special needs.  Chances are that the person with special needs just want to be treated as if they didn’t have special needs and so you should do this.  You want to set a good example for your child to watch.  You can offer to be helpful if there is something that can be done and get your child involved in this.  Show them the positive things that can be done for and with the person.