June 11, 2013
How to talk to kids (and parents) about disability
Amy Julia Becker wrote this essay for the PBS Parents website. She talks about the tendency of her children to stare and ask her what happened when they see other children (or adults) using aids such as wheelchairs, crutches, special lifts, or other physical devices. “For a long time, I didn’t know what to say,” she writes, and then goes on to describe what she has learned about how to respond. Her three guiding principles are excellent and are helpful for all of us, regardless of our age, in thinking about disability. She emphasizes the positive and encourages “conversations [that] invite reciprocity and relationship rather than division and pity.” Amy Julia has given a lot of thought to the topic. One of her daughters was born with Down syndrome, and she has written about the experience in a book and numerous essays, including an article for Christianity Today. You might also want to read her review of Amos Young’s book, The Bible, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God, also on the Christianity Today website.