For typically-abled children (and adults!), the appearance of a person with a physical disability can seem both fascinating and scary.
Our job is to normalize disability for our children so they accept people with physical differences as human beings who, like everyone, need love and friendship.
We also want our children to understand that while physical differences affect people’s lives in some ways, it simply means that they are differently abled. Like everyone else, most people with disabilities have the capacity to accomplish both everyday and extraordinary things.
Today, explain to your child that you will watch a video showing athletes (and musicians) who are very, very good at what they do. Their bodies work differently than most people’s bodies. Some have an arm or a leg missing, or their legs don’t work, or their muscles won’t allow them to move in a typical way. Still, they trained very hard for a very long time - and they made it to the Olympics! They compete in a special Olympics called the Paralympics, for elite athletes whose bodies work differently.
Then watch We’re the Superhumans, the Rio Paralympics 2016 trailer, available on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IocLkk3aYlk). It’s inspiring, with a “Yes, I Can!” message.
After you watch, ask your child about his or her favorite part. You can ask, “What sport would you want to do if you went to the Olympics?”