“If every child matters, every child has the right to a good start in life. If every child matters, every child has the right to be included. And that is so important for children with special needs.”
Not all providers have children with special needs in their program, but almost everybody has seen or met a child with special needs. It’s important for providers to talk to the children in their program about diversity… including children with special needs. For some children, meeting a new person can be a difficult situation and can make them nervous. This might be especially true if they are meeting another child that has a wheelchair or needs assistance from an adult. By helping children in your program understand that everyone is important, this will encourage them to be better friends.
Tips from a Child Care Consultant:
- Have books in your program that show/talk about children with special needs
- Have dolls/puppets that represent children with special needs
- Display pictures/posters that show children with special needs
- Designate a week or month where you talk about children with special needs
- Invite guests to your program or take a field trip to learn more about children with special needs
Tips from a family with a special needs child:
- Please don’t stare at us (it makes us feel uncomfortable)
- If we have a wheelchair… you can ask us questions about it
- We like to have fun just like any other child
- We want to be included in activities and love to participate
- Just because we have limitations… we still want to have friends
Every child is special and every child is important… let’s help them feel welcome in our programs and our communities!