How Do I Teach my Kids to Interact with People Who Have Disabilities?

by Mar 25, 2024How-Tos, Special Needs Ministry, Special Needs Parenting0 comments

Jolene gives practical pointers for people who ask, "How do I teach my kids to interact with people who have disabilities?"

“How do I teach my kids to interact with people who have disabilities?”

The question came during an interview with the hosts of the Music for the Soul podcast. While I composed an answer in my head before speaking, I also thought to myself, “What a great topic for a blog post.”

Once the interview was over, I jotted down what I’d said and added more tips as they came to mind. The tips below are geared for kids, but they can be adapted for adults who act uncomfortable around anyone with disabilities and special needs—kids, adults, and senior citizens.

  1. Model disability etiquette to your children and others. In addition to watching how you employ the tips listed below as you interact with people who have disabilities and special needs, they hear how you speak. They notice your inflection and tone of voice. They can see if you are at ease or uncomfortable, patronizing or respectful, so try to be a good role model.
  2. Talk to the person with the disability rather than to their caretaker or interpreter even if they give the answer. Doing so shows the person that you value them and want to hear from them.
  3. Start by having your child introduce herself. Once again, this conveys respect for your child’s voice and helps the person she’s talking to know who to speak with.
  4. Allow your child to ask the person about his disability. Kids are curious and uninhibited. They will bring up the disability elephant in the room that adults are too “polite” to mention.

To read the rest of How Do I Teach my Kids to Interact with People Who Have Disabilities?, go to the Key Ministry website.

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Photo by Ability Ministry on Disability Is Beautiful

By Jolene

Jolene Philo is the author of several books for the caregiving community. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. Sharing Love Abundantly with Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and Amazon. See Jane Dance!, the third book in the West River cozy mystery series, which features characters affected by disability, was released in October of 2023.


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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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