I thought some of you would like this as much as I did. In our area we had a "Year of the Child" celebration. Which was for families with special needs and for community awareness. They sent letters home from all of the schools for the kids to write an essay or draw a picture of why "I think people with disabilities should be treated just like you and me because...". This is what our 6 year old daughter, Madison, wrote about our daughter Kimberly:
(as seen through the eyes of a 6 year old. Some editorial help provided by Dad and Mom)
I think people with disabilities should be treated just like you and me because they have feelings too. How would you feel if you were the one left out? I have a sister that is four years old and she has disabilities. She has CP because her brain isn't working right.
She should get to go to the park so she can have fun on the swings and the slides. I get to go to the park near our house sometimes but she doesn't. The park should be for everybody, but there isn't any equipment that she can use. If she could go on the swings she would need to have a special swing.
She should get to go out to restaurants. Some places don't have a ramp for my sister's wheelchair that she sits in to eat. Sometimes she tries to sit in a high chair, but she always slides out. Sometimes people whisper about her, and sometimes people point at her. It's not nice to make fun of people with disabilities. It can hurt their feeling and sometimes it hurts my feelings too.
Kids with disabilities should be able to go to school, so maybe their brains can start to work better. They should be allowed to try to do the same things as all of the other kids. Sometimes they might need some extra help. Sometimes they need other people to help them, like extra teachers or some other kids. And sometimes they need special equipment to help them too.
Sometimes people with disabilities need their own places too. At McDonalds, there is a ball pit that I can play in with other kids, but my sister can't. They need to have a ball pit that isn't too deep where the adults can help the kids who need it.
Sometimes I wish my sister would get better. Than she could play with me and do some of the things that I like to do, and not only the things that she can't do. But, I still love her the way she is, and wish everybody else would too. People with disabilities are people too. Just because they can't do everything that other people do doesn't mean they should be treated different.
Footnote: She won first place in her age group. I was very proud of her!
Mary Geilser, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Added to the Our-Kids File Archives 3-27-98