Thursday, July 11, 2013

A teaching moment

Dear Life,

Today at Kumaka's adaptive PE camp, I was able to teach my boys something.  I realized that before this I assumed my children would somehow magically KNOW how to react to a differently abled person...whether it is physical or cognitive.  I guess because they have a brother that has extras I just figured they got it.  Today I learned that I never had a conversation with them about how to talk to a person who is cognitively delayed as I watched two of my boys interact with an older boy at the camp.  This boy is in his early twenties, I'm not sure of his diagnosis, but he has delays cognitively and thinks differently than they do.  He was talking to them on and on today and while one of my boys was doing great, looking at him in the eyes, responding to him even though this boy was talking about made up stuff that didn't really make sense, the other boy was looking down doing his best to not make eye contact and have to converse with him.  I realized at that point that my assumptions made it difficult for my son to know what to do.  When the boy walked away for a bit,  I pulled my son aside and told him that it was very important for him to know how to talk to this boy.  I told him to always look at him in the eyes, and just respond to what he was talking about.  Even though it didn't make sense, just ask questions and keep talking with what he is talking about.  It really wasn't about how my son was about him talking to him and laughing with him.  After I talked with my son, he did much better looking at this boy in the eyes, and talking with him.  He seemed less awkward and uncomfortable.  This boy was so happy to be talking to my boys... we were discussing things that didn't make any sense but he was laughing and having fun...and that is what mattered.  After he walked away, (AFTER we took a group picture), I told them they did great...and it is all about being open and talking and listening and including everyone.  

1 comment :

  1. Way to go Mom! I hope that I am able to do the same in a similar situation... :)


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