Access by Various artists

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Access: What Your Child Needs To Know About Disability

7 Responses

  • Hilary Stace,

    Thanks Chelle. I have found that children have a natural curiosity but are also very accepting of the diversity of humanity. They learn prejudice from those around them. So, as you say, it is very important what adults say and do around children.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3199 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Indeed, model the appropriate behaviour and kids will follow along. Don't act like anything is "bad" - just different - and the kids think it's no big deal. And indeed model good manners by not asking things that are really none of your business.

    I get a version of this myself, being a particularly unfeminine individual of the queer persuasion. As long as the parents are not blasting "get away from my innocent child, foul beast" vibes at me, I'm quite happy to answer simple questions. Four to six year olds seem to be big on gender questions.

    "Yes, I am a lady, and sometimes ladies do have very very short hair. Some ladies don't have any hair at all!"

    A friend of mine does a "Some people aren't really either ladies or men, and I'm like that, so that's why you can't tell!" routine.

    But yeah, parents can interrupt questions on boyfriends and girlfriends, and not let the kid bombard you with more than a couple of questions. Nothing wrong with teaching people are different, but we're not exhibits in the zoo either.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to TracyMac,

    "Yes, I am a lady, and sometimes ladies do have very very short hair.

    That reminds me of one of my favourite interactions-with-child:

    * you're wearing a dress
    * you're a boy
    * boys don't wear dresses
    (repeat points 1 to 3 several times)

    Eventually the child wandered away, to the relief of both of us.

    Some ladies don't have any hair at all!"

    Alopecia is weird. In the particular context I met someone with it I was invited to stroke them and yeah, weird. It's not the bald head, it's the smooth skin. I hadn't really realised before then just how subconsciously normal the fine hairs on people's arms are. Take them away and "wut?" I suspect you'd get the same effect from a full body waxing, but I don't think I know anyone who does that.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1195 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Moz,

    * you're wearing a dress
    * you're a boy
    * boys don't wear dresses

    Loved watching a toddler on the summer grass in seaside Devonport many years ago trying to make sense of the brief back-and-forth scene (at about 9m) in a live performance of this beautiful dance (nsfw) by Douglas Wright and Debra McCulloch. Her parents had no words. #bodylanguage

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19685 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I welcome children asking about how we do stuff rather than what's wrong with us, but I guess my differences are less obvious than some others. And there are some areas I'm not going into, no. Sorry, inquisitive child at the mall.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19685 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Sacha,

    there are some areas I'm not going into, no. Sorry, inquisitive child at the mall.

    "Be nice to me or I will answer your child's questions. In full".

    Thanks for the reminder that nzonscreen is accessible from Oz.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1195 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Another superb installment Chelle, it's giving me loads to think about, thank you!

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

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